Show a Little Love


In a world of so much division and hatred, I thought I’d share a little short story that reflects how we might choose to handle life. This week, I want to be one that shows the love of Jesus in my reactions.

I’ve also made October the month of FREE books. With fall moving in, don’t you want to curl up with a good book and a cuppa (Aussie for tea, coffee, or hot chocolate)? Even here in balmy Southwest Florida, we’ve had a few nights of “cooler” (70 – LOL) weather. So after you read this little short story, head on over to Amazon where you can pick up the Kindle edition of Voices of the Past this weekend. It’s FREE starting yesterday, October 9 until the 13th.

Then from October 16-20th you can get Dangerous Ground for FREE.

New Release, When the Wind Blows, will be FREE October 20-24th. That’s a month of great reading! Starting with the story below. And don’t forget to show a little love…

Joy Wurshop yanked on the handle of her rolling briefcase. For the last time. The handle came off in her hand. The impact nearly threw her off her black high heels. Walking was no longer an option. She’d have to call a cab now. Ten minutes before her meeting started. Only a miracle would get her there.

“Taxi!” She scanned the crowded street for yellow while attempting to shove the bag’s handle back in place.

You’ll have to be aggressive in the big city. The unsolicited advice from her previous boss incited her to take a step off the curb. Without looking. A cab screeched to a halt inches from her black pencil skirt. Joy’s free hand flew to her mouth while her purse slid off her shoulder and down the grey and pink floral silk blouse adorning her arm.

“Lady, what the heck’re ya doin? Trying to get yourself killed? Do you want a cab or a coffin?”

“Cab, please.” She let the coffin remark slide. Gripping her broken briefcase and purse, she fumbled with the door handle. The driver turned, facing her, and yelled out the passenger window.

“Come on, lady. I ain’t got all day.” His booming expletive carried over honking horns blaring behind him.

Joy threw her belongings through the door and slid in beside them.

“Where to? Where to? Let’s get a move on.”

“27th Street. The Town Center Building. Please hurry. I have a meeting, and I’m already late.”

“Oh, miss fancy-pants wants me to hurry now. Dawdled getting in my cab, and now I’m the one to get her to her meetin’…”

Joy closed her eyes against the pooling tears as the man carried on. Not what she needed. Not today. Not when her career hung by a thread.

Drawing in a deep breath, she dug in her purse for a tissue, settling for a wadded piece at the bottom. By the time she removed mascara smudges and reapplied lip gloss, they turned onto her street. Joy prayed she had enough cash for the fare.

Flipping through all her cards, her heart plunged. Bank, credit, medical, pharmacy, Sam’s Club, library. Nothing. Opened her change purse. A couple of folded up ones and two pennies. They were pulling up to her building. Praying for a miracle, she peeked in a little, side pocket, fully knowing she never kept money there.

“That’ll be $17.50. No charge for not runnin’ ya over back there.” He howled a laugh.

Tucked inside the pocket was a folded bill. Thank God! But when she pulled it out, the sight elated and crushed her. A fifty. Since when…she never had that kind of money. But she knew what she needed to do. She closed her eyes with a sigh. A moment later, she opened them and handed the bill over, offering a shaky smile.

“Here. Keep the change.”

As she closed the door, she caught his muttering.

“Well, I never…”

And she guessed he never had.

When the Wind Blows is coming soon…

Remember The Miracles of the Past


On Thursday, a fellow author featured my book on her blog. DSC_0020

Thank you to Toni Shiloh! I appreciate how she promotes new authors. I hope you’ll check out her blog and books too. You can read the post here. If you comment, you’ll be entered to win a free copy of the book!

What I love about Toni’s Throw Back Thursday blog is that it reminds me to think about the miracles God has done in the past. My book she promoted, The Miracle of Us: Confessions on an Online Dater, was released nearly three years ago which was a miracle in itself! It took four years of writing, editing, changing it and rewriting before I landed with something I felt people would find enjoyable, entertaining and encouraging.

But that story began nearly nine years ago.

Here’s the thing. Every time we retell the miracles God has done for us, our faith grows. We remember how big God is. We encourage others. And the best part? God says in Revelation (12:11) that our testimony helps defeat or overcome our enemy, the devil.

Amazing what sharing a story can do.

So thank you, Toni. I hope my story will encourage someone. And remember, friends, to share your stories! Tell people about the wins in your lives. Remember those miracles from the hand of a big God and look forward to what is to come.

What story can you share? We’d love to hear in the comments below.

Why Do You Write?


Yesterday, I opened an email from a follower of this blog and a reader of my new book, The Miracle of Us: Confessions of an Online Dater. My tears of joy could not be contained as I read how this person’s life was being challenged and changed by God.  In part, as a result of the book.

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Bella at Riding Lessons

I’ve seen the growth. I feel proud, like a beaming mother watching her child on stage or at a sporting event. (I know this feeling well with seven children and seven grandchildren!) The joy that bursts forth in your heart to see someone live out who they were made to be can’t be described. And the blessing of being a small part of that overwhelms me.

I told my husband, “This is why I write.”

 

It’s not for money. Forget the hype of “New York Times Bestseller! ” Most authors make very little in comparison to the hours they put in.

Nor is it for fame. True, it’s been kind of cool to have a few people recognize me from one of two newspaper articles about the release of my book. But that is nothing but a bit of lovely fun.

To make a point? Well, I suppose that the point I try to make in all my books is that God offers us hope, healing and redemption. His love for us is beyond our comprehension, and he is able and willing to do anything to show us that.

But the bottom line reason is this:

“Thank you again for this book. I’m learning to believe in miracles and the One who works them.”

“I just finished reading your book “The Miracle of Us.”  I loved it! I was in tears at times as I read the miracles that God did in your relationship with Brendan.”

“Laura’s book strengthened my faith in God’s ability to work miracles for broken people.”

“What a lovely story of love, adventure, and God’s faithfulness!”

 

God uses our words, gives them to us in fact, to change lives for people’s good and his glory.

 

I’m so stoked on that. Amazed. Humbled. Grateful.

And I’m convinced he wants to use each of us to do the same. Maybe through books, or poems, or songs, or art or your job as a postal clerk (Tina has blessed me every time I mail something, and she doesn’t even realize she’s doing it), a doctor, a mother, a sales representative…in other words, whatever you do.

So, why do you write?

 

Can You Hand Me a Fig Leaf, Please?


miracle book cover_0001 The Miracle of Us: Confessions of an Online Dater  went live on Amazon this afternoon and the reality of what we’ve written (I say we  because Brendan put his story, thoughts and feelings in there too) is hitting us full force.

 Why? You may ask.

Well, we’ve shared our personal testimony. Our thoughts, feelings, struggles, triumphs as well as the fun and the nitty-gritty tragedy in between are all in the open. Suddenly, we feel a bit self-conscious to talk about our failures, losses and newly found love. Love found on the internet, no less. We think of the conflicts we’ve given you a glimpse into and the intimacy of some of our moments together, and quite frankly, we’re blushing.

So, why would we do something like this?

The Bible tells us that we overcome our enemy by Jesus’ blood and the word of our testimony (Revelation 12:11). It’s that simple. And complicated. When any one of us shares our story of the amazing things God has done for us, our faith is strengthened. Our testimony encourages the people who hear it, and fills them with hope that if God could/would do that for someone, then maybe he could work in their situation as well.

Each word of our testimony sends our enemy reeling.

We gain hope, strength, power all because of a confidence in the God who just did miracles for us or other believers. When someone tells me about how they were healed, or given $462 when they needed that exact amount for a doctor bill my faith leaps with excited anticipation of what God will then do for me. I am filled with awe, wonder and praise for his mighty works, and his great love that incites him to do those things for us. Like the woman at the well who ran to tell everyone in town about Jesus being the Messiah because he told her things he couldn’t have known unless he was God, we share the miracles of God and others believe.

God did amazing things for two broken people.

This is our story to encourage, inspire and give thanks to a wonderful, loving Heavenly Father who deserves our gratitude and praise. It might bring laughter or tears, or even ruffle a few feathers, but the focus is on the big picture of what an incredible God can do when we trust him. Ultimately, we hope it will bless everyone who reads it, even if we feel a little naked sharing it.

Now available at:

My CreateSpace Store – purchasing here means the highest author royalties

AND

Amazon – this option may be more convenient and offers a discount and the potential for free shipping!

 What is your testimony?

The Rest of the Story


I feel a sequel coming on.

I came to the point this week where I am out of excerpts from The Miracle of Us: Confessions of Two Online Daters. I can’t give away all the excitement of the ending even if you know that we made it to the altar. Suspense isn’t really the point, but after all, something needs to be left for the book. I’m encouraged by how many want to read the finished product. Pray a publisher feels the same!

The good news is that as I’ve come to the end of writing, I’ve felt that the story isn’t finished. Naturally, our story has really only begun with a mere three years of marriage completed. We were considered newlyweds by many until only a few weeks ago!

But we’ve been learning so much during those three years. Therefore, Beyond the Miracle: What We’ve Learned About Through Marriage will begin it’s writing process soon. At this point, the book’s skeleton is taking shape in my mind.

More to the story.

While away on our anniversary weekend a few weeks back, I came across a card that had this quote by Irving Stone on the front:

The best romance is inside the marriage; the finest love stories come after the wedding, not before.

Wow! We thought the best part was our story leading up to the wedding. The challenges, romance and miracles that occurred before the wedding astounded us, but so much more has happened afterwards. Nitty, gritty tough stuff. Not that the struggle to step out in faith, believing we could each start over in romantic life by dating online through Skype with someone across the world wasn’t tough enough. I mean, it’s not like praying for our seven children to feel good about the whole situation, and braving immigration paper mountains was a Sunday drive. Those eleven months held some of the hardest obstacles and greatest moments either of us has every experienced.

The truth about romance and marriage.

Just as our story of online dating, long distance romance and eventual wedding bells (actually there were no bells ringing at our wedding) has portrayed faith, redemption and overcoming the impossible; our marriage continues with building a new life out of a broken past. Restarting careers in middle age, parenting at three age levels: school age, teenage, and grown children as well as being step-parents and grandparents at the same time encompass their own sets of challenges. And immigration paperwork and appointments don’t end when you enter the country. Add to that the fact that marriage itself is the vehicle that transforms our lives and there’s more of the story to tell.

I can’t wait to see what’s in store for us as we continue the journey. Hopefully, our story will offer hope for yours.

Isn’t it exciting and a little stressful the way life unfolds? What are some of the challenges you’ve faced through life, marriage or family?

Fairy Tales Do Come True


So much can be said about online dating. Technology has taken over our lives and social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and MySpace have mushroomed practically overnight. But regardless of whether we meet someone in person, through Facebook or on an internet dating site, some topics remain constant. One is our innate desire for a fairy tale romance. And even guys can get into the happily-ever- after theme.

Our internet dating story proves that fairy tales do come true. You know the kind that only happens in the movies, but never in real life? The type of story I could only dream about with an intense conviction and a deep, unexplained yearning. Don’t most of us? Our story defies everyone who ever told me I was an idealistic, unrealistic dreamer. This IS the fairy tale, happily-ever-after story of love and marriage between two soul mates absolutely made for one another. And I’m not just saying that because it’s my story. Other people have kindly pointed it out to me.

Maybe we need permission to believe in that fairy tale kind of love and marriage. What we subconsciously are convinced of and yet desperately hope to be true can be, in fact, a reality. So, I’m saying it here. Believe it. Have faith that this kind of heady, in-the-movies romance exists and always has, even in spite of our out-of-control divorce rate. It’s not only a possibility, it is a reality. God created it to be that way.

I realize that technically I’m still a newlywed with only a couple of years to my fairy tale credit. You might easily dismiss what I’m saying with a shrug and a wave of your hand, and some comment like “Wait until the honeymoon is over.” But, just for the record, let me assure you that our “honeymoon” ended as soon as we stepped off the plane into the arms of our waiting children; settled into a rental house full of mold that made me chronically ill; tackled step-parenting issues, and talked about finances for the first time. The first two years of married life could easily be classified as one of the most difficult seasons of both our lives. Yes, even including both of the years I went through divorces and the year my family lost everything we owned, not to mention the devastating year Brendan lost his first wife and was left caring for three young children. But, every good story has a climax of impossible conflicts that confines us to the edge of our seat with breath holding anticipation of the resolution. Ours is no different.

And, I believe in miracles. Yes, I believe God is still all about raising-the-dead kind of miracles, but the kind I’m talking about here are the everyday things that really don’t make sense, and shouldn’t happen, but do anyway. Some people call them coincidence, but these “God things” are really just too coincidental and leave us marveling in a perplexed kind of awe. That is what fairy tales are made of, and that is what our story is about–the one that began on a Christian internet dating site a few years ago.