Thursday, May 27, 2010

"All Hail the Power"

Good afternoon, friends and family-
I just came in from raking leaves. Yes, raking leaves in May! We had a lovely series of storms come through yesterday, six storms over a six-hour period, each one accompanied by hail. The first was the nastiest, lasting about half an hour with hail up to two inches in diameter! I saved some in the freezer if you want to see it.

The house seems to be undamaged—no broken windows and no flooding indoors. But the cars have dimples, and not the ones you get when smile. Yes, Bryan’s red Dodge Magnum was in the driveway along with my silver Stratus. I stood helpless at the window, having a tearful discussion with God as the hail gave the cars “depth”.

I learned long ago the difference between a problem and a fact of life: a problem you can do something about; if you can’t change it, it’s a fact of life. That hail was a fact of life—no amount of screaming, crying, or running outside to move the cars would stop the storm. (It might have dented my head!) But I could decide my response to it, and I chose to accept it and take care of the damage later.

This reminded me of 2 Corinthians 1:5, “For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.” Thank you for all the overflowing comfort you have shared with me for nearly two years now. We all have sufferings to deal with, but living through them and thriving on the other side give us the courage and strength to help others.

Anybody need leaves raked in May? I have experience!

By the way, I have a signed contract with HigherLife Publishing. My cancer manual should be published by February if not before, and I’ll have a website for it about the same time. There are a lot of people who need the “comfort” that I can share from my experiences and I’m looking forward to it.

Take care, make it a great day, and share comfort with someone who needs it—

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

May 2010 CCWC

Hello, dear friends and family-

Well, I have survived the Colorado Christian Writers’ Conference and my life has returned to “normal”. It was a fantastic five days spent learning more about writing, publishing and marketing, as well as making new friends and cementing old relationships. It was absolutely great!

The weekend started with picking up my editor Hope and Cary Grant at the airport for the drive up to Estes Park. (Rick Marschall had e-mailed me a picture of Cary Grant so I’d know what he looks like.) :-) I attached the picture to a sign with his name and held it high so he could find me among the crowds. You wouldn’t believe the number of people who wanted to wait with me to see Cary Grant walk up!

The conference had more workshops than I could attend and more information than I could ever hope to absorb. I took notes fast and furious (or is that fastly and furiously?) so that I can type and digest them when I have time, hopefully this week. The more I learn about writing, publishing, and marketing, the more I have yet to learn!

In case you haven’t heard, I am now in negotiations with HigherLife Publishing to have Stepping Through Cancer, A Step-By-Step Guide for the Journey in print later this year. YAY! Hope Flinchbaugh, my editor, met with me at the conference for half an hour to discuss this book and another that I’ve started. She’s really excited and has some great marketing ideas for a Stepping Through Cancer website. We'll have a survivors' wall for people to send a picture and short bio, as well as a memorial wall to help us remember our loved ones. I’m also creating a notebook for use with the cancer book, which will give caregivers a little control in an otherwise uncontrollable situation.

I keep running across Jeremiah 29:11, "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'" I told Hope that was meant for me. God promised to give me hope, and I got Hope as my editor and friend!

Actually, this verse has helped me to accept all the rotten stuff I've had to deal with for my entire life. The plans have always been to prosper me and not harm me, to give me hope and a future. I can see that now. had. And that, along with my writing, gives me hope and a future. But the promise isn't just for me. All of His children can claim this promise. His plans for us are good. We just need to be willing to let Him use us.

Blessings to all of you.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Debbie's brother and book, May 1

Good morning, friends, women, and countrymen. Lend me your ears – oh, no that’s something else. Well, you can see that I’m doing quite well. As my father-in-law would say, I’m in pretty good shape for the shape I’m in.

Update on my brother Ken Horn – he woke up from his seizure-induced sleep. He’s not talking much and when he does, he mumbles. But he is alert and eating now. Praise the Lord! We weren’t even sure he would wake up. Our God is full of surprises! :-)

And here’s another praise – My step-by-step cancer book has moved to the next phase! My friend Hope Flinchbaugh completed my Manuscript Review, and I now need to make some changes and decide on a title. Then, HigherLife and I will be negotiating a contract to get the book published, create an e-book from it, and develop a website for cancer caregivers to use as a reference and source of encouragement.

It looks like God is orchestrating my new career. I’m so excited about being able to help those in the same situation I found myself in just a short time ago. Guess that’s why He helps us through tough times – so we can be a blessing to others.

Something interesting I came across in Isaiah 43:2: “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”

Notice that it says “when” and not “if” these things happen. God knows all the rotten stuff we’re going to face, and assures us that He’ll be with us through it all. It’s been my experience that He prepares us ahead of time, whether we realize or not. We’re never alone.

Thanks for your support during the past couple of years. God loves you and so do I.