Three years later …

Hello again! It’s been a while.

To begin, here is our caregiving update:

Harley’s Mom lived with us until the wonderful age of 97. We were honored and grateful to have her with us for so long. We continually learned how to navigate within her world of dementia/Alzheimer’s with joy and love. Moments and memories we now share.

After her passing, Harley and I packed a few things in a small POD and had it stored. Then we loaded his Camaro with everything we would need for 6 months of living on the road. In true Harley fashion, one morning we headed south – with no map – thinking that when we hit water, we had gone too far. This was the Harley I had always known and loved. My adventurer!

Eventually, we found a home and settled in. Life is good.

On another subject …

Today we finished a project begun long ago. As an Early Childhood Education Consultant, I had seen the need for a children’s book that explained death. During trying times, adults are often unable to communicate what is going on.

At the present time, Amazon does not print paper copies of children’s books so today we made arrangements to have a small run of the book printed for distribution to ministers, hospice, and others dealing with the loss of a loved one. It’s a start. We will keep you posted.

Hope you are all doing well and enjoying those around you.

Carry on in happiness,

Gracie

Our first year

This first year of our new life has been a season of great growth. Being full time caregivers to a woman succumbing to dementia has caused us to learn new skills and acquire more wisdom. And through it all, we still find God faithful. On all fronts and in all circumstances. Are you surprised?

When this season is over, we will spend more time on our next book. In the meantime, notes on my iphone and legal pad record the details of God’s hand upon us. I pray that as you read this, you feel His gentle comfort surround you too. Until next time, remember …

God is STILL amazing!

Gracie

Being led

Throughout the spring, Harley and I continued to take turns flying the 1700 miles between us.

On May, 10, 2016, I posted an article called “Timing is Everything.” You can read it in its entirety below. The bottom line was that circumstances should never dictate decisions, for we are not to be led by outward conditions. We are to be led inwardly, by the Spirit of God. After it posted, Harley and I began to walk out that advice from the Book of Ecclesiastes.

Although we did not know how our plans would evolve, we both were certain that it was time to marry. So to the surprise of many, one sunny day in July we were married in a quiet ceremony held in the family church.

Our goal was the same, our mission identical, our calling unified. We determined to provide home care for his 95 year old mother and to fill her home with life and love. It’s been almost six months now, and I can honestly say that Harley and I have repeatedly seen God’s faithfulness. He has equipped us for this mission. He has united us with wisdom and purpose. And He has allowed His love to overflow in our midst.

Were all our ducks in a row? No. Did we know how to dissolve my home 1700 miles away? No. Did we see clearly how the many tasks would be accomplished? No. But by faith in our Heavenly Father, trusting Him to point the way, we have made it through the transition with great joy and peace.

And what have we learned through it all? We have learned to live one day at a time. For everyday has its own need for wisdom and skill. We have learned to address each issue immediately, leaving nothing for tomorrow’s burden. And we have learned that God is always with us, always aware of every moment, and always ready to show the way. We have learned once again that God is Faithful!

Yes, God is STILL amazing!

Gracie

Timing is everything

“Farmers who wait for perfect weather never plant. If they watch every cloud, they never harvest.”

Ecclesiastes 11:4

When we strive to walk by faith, timing is everything. We pray. We watch. And we wait until the time is right to launch out. To take that step of faith. To be brave.

But the right time should never be measured by external circumstances, by waiting for all our ducks to be in a row. Because the truth is that with external circumstances as our measuring stick, the perfect time may never come.

So how do we assess when the time is right? As with all other aspects of our lives, we look to God and ask him for that “knowing,” that inward assurance that this is the right time. Or for that knowing that we must wait while He works in the background, ironing out the last of the details. While He goes before us, making our way straight.

Think about King David. He gathered all of the resources necessary to build a temple for God. He had all his ducks in a row. Yet, even after all that preparation, God told him it was not the right time and that eventually David’s son Solomon would be the one to finish the work.

So how did David know what to do? He asked.

“Lead me in the right path, O Lord … make your way plain for me to follow.”

Psalm 4:8

Be at peace, my friend. Set aside anxious thoughts. Be confident that He who has begun a good work in you will continue. And be joyful that you will know when the time is right. You will know what to do and how to do it. You will know, because your Heavenly Father will make the way plain for you. YOU! Just ask Him.

Carry on in happiness.

Gracie

Intertwined

Last September 2015, Harley was the FIRST person to buy a copy of the newly published book. He was also the FIRST person on Earth to read it. When he was finished, he gave it to his 95 year old uncle to read.

Three months later, I flew 1,700 miles to sit with Uncle Hugh and talk about the book. Five days later, he became the FIRST person in Heaven to have read the book. Just imagine the conversation that Uncle Hugh and Harmony had!

Harley and my worlds have now come full circle. Heaven and Earth, families and loved ones, intertwined. Just as it should be!

God is STILL amazing!

Gracie

The gift of happiness

Just when we think we have God figured out, He outdoes Himself!

TEN DAYS after the book, Camping With God: A True Story was published, (almost two years after Harmony’s passing), I became reacquainted with the love of my youth. Almost fifty years earlier, I enjoyed life with this wonderful guy while riding on the back of his motorcycle.

But when my parents relocated to the South, they begged me to join them. So I reluctantly moved, putting a thousand miles between Harley and me. Eventually I met Harmony and we built a life together. But a part of me never let go of Harley.

Now, after living lives so much different than we had envisioned, Harley and I have found each other again. Can you believe it? May this give you hope. God’s hand is not shortened that He cannot save, heal, restore, make new, and bless.

Book two has now begun. Tentatively titled “The Gift of Happiness,” it picks up where the first book ended – where the girls and I were poised and ready for God to continue to care for us.

The first book took nine years to write, edit, and publish. I hope that the second one is a little more timely! In the meantime, remember that our Heavenly Father loves you and is more than able to meet every need and to give you the desires of your heart.

Carry on in happiness.

Gracie

The first six weeks

Hello Friends. Here is a quick update …

With a grateful heart, I report to you that the book has been well received. More important than its initial reception, however, is the depth of healing that has accompanied its release. I have spoken with folks who, with tears in their eyes, have shared how restoration has come.

We are so grateful to the Lord for using us and for honoring His Word with signs and wonders.

Carry on in happiness.

Gracie

Book updates

Hello Friends.

Well, we did it! Both the Kindle and print versions of our book should be available on Amazon.com today. You can view both the print and Kindle versions HERE!

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BOOK FORMATTING DETAILS: We designed the book to be an “easy read.” There are two reasons for this. First, if the reader chose the book because he or she is going through a difficult season, fatigue, stress, or medication can often affect eyesight. So in the print version, the font is slightly larger than normal. Second, if the book is a gift to someone who does not normally like to read, it is designed using smaller paragraphs and shorter chapters. In other words, it’s an easy read so that peace, encouragement, and faith can quickly increase.

REFERENCE NOTE: One hundred and nine Scripture references are listed in the Endnotes Section of the printed version. However, the Kindle version does not contain Endnotes.

We hope you enjoy this labor of love and find encouragement and peace as you walk out your own symphony of faith.

Carry on in happiness.

Gracie

And so it begins …

Hi there!

This is the first post on our official authors’ blog.

On September 3, 2015, we hope to FINALLY publish our book, “Camping With God,” an intimate look at what it means to walk by faith. It has been a long time coming.

During the past few months, I have read a plethora of advice on how to self-publish. And although, like most authors, I do not like the business side of publishing a book, it is a reality. So based on “expert” advice, I decided to follow some of their wisdom. Just in case you were wondering, here is how it went:

1. Pick a title that will allow your book to be readily accessed by the Amazon search engine.

Since some folks estimate that close to 4 million book titles are listed on Amazon, and no one is really sure how the algorithms it uses work, I waded through search-word options. My titles morphed from “Starting Over,” to “Life is a Symphony,” to “How to Walk by Faith.” But just because putting “How to” in a title sells more books, it didn’t make it right. After all, who were we to tell someone how to walk by faith? In the end, I ditched the search-word mindset and chose a title that I thought best reflects the book content. Let the rankings fall where they may.

2. Set up a blog so that your readers can contact you.

TA DA! According to the opinion of leading publishers, readers like to get to know their authors. And although I would love hearing from anyone who invested their valuable time reading something that I wrote, the question remains, do they really want to read an update on my blog? We will see! I hope I configured this so that you can easily post comments.

3. Design a cover that will enhance your message.

Well, that was not as easy as it sounded. I originally had a background pic of folks on a Texas trail ride. Get it? Walking on a new path? From the reference in Chapter 2, Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken?” Then I chose a pic of autumn leaves, because we were in the fall season of our lives. Then sheet music, in homage to the symphony reference. Then, winter snow with new growth, a nod to new beginnings. But finally, the pic below seemed to best reflect our camping sonata. I hope you like it.

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Thus concludes my first blog post.Thanks for stopping by.

Carry on in happiness.

Gracie