Monday, October 22, 2007

The Perfect Day

It was the perfect day.

The temperature hummed at a pleasant 70 degrees. The leaves, as I drove along the winding hills and curves of our neighborhood, taking my son to the BMV to get his first license plate, were the color of fire.

Autumn is a slow burn. It takes its time, like a man just before the winter of life, shuffling a little, making it last to the last drop. A fire turns to ash so quickly. But these leaves will slowly drop, turn brown and curling, be covered in snowflakes, their strength hidden for awhile and then produce life for the young things of spring. And I realize . . . could we ask for anything more? I stare at the molten gold, the burnished orange and, my favorite, the brilliant reds from behind my cool, white-framed sunglasses – a summertime indulgence - I find I'm thankful to be alive.

"Do you see it?" I ask my seventeen-year-old who seems to have all the answers . . . who has had answers for everything since he was two. "Do you see the leaves?"
He glances up from his I-Pod.
And for a moment, I can see that he does.
I smile and take the next turn.

Later, I get back from a book signing to find a neighbor in need. She has lived across the street from me for years, been married and raised her children there for years . . . now standing on my front step telling me about another woman taking her place in the heart of her husband . . . and all I can think is, how does this happen? Thirty years lost in a new, younger woman’s eyes.

It makes me afraid. Afraid to count myself among the inoculated, the safe, the sure. Life is anything but sure.

I spent the rest of that brilliant day helping pack and load and unload into an apartment. I passed those same leaves and while they were still brilliant, my tears now blurred the color making it a washed out world. How many times had I stood in her kitchen talking and laughing . . . but today, I watched as she pulled out the house key from her pocket and left it on the counter saying, “Goodbye, my kitchen,” my home, my life as I’ve know it. She admonished me to be strong when I’d cried then – yes, she told me to be strong. But alone in my car with her potted plants swaying in my rear-view mirror, I couldn’t be strong. I could only cry and try, to drive.

I can still see her face. See her anger and her brightness at the same time. See her determination and her brokenness. See her, my friend.

I will call her. I will visit her new home. I will invite her over and we will, together, shield our eyes from the foreign car in her driveway . . . but I pray . . . dear God, I hope, she won’t be robbed of Your greatness, Your color, Your autumn extravagant show. Cause, sometimes, some days, it’s all we have.

The perfect day.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Do You Like Writing Contest?

I found this great list of current writing contests here,guid,36568afb-bfb8-4f3e-9e4b-1535bc74b042.aspx
Let me know if you win!!

Happy Writing!


Monday, October 08, 2007

Just Trying to Keep Breathing!

I recieved this amazing review last night in my inbox from Rel in Austrailia!! (Austrailia!!)

"Elizabeth Smith doesn't know where she has come from but her future goals are clear ~ she just didn't count on a storm interfering with those plans. Noah Wesley loves the solitary wilderness that is his Alaskan home but when God calls him to open his front door during a fearsome blizzard, the unconscious woman lying at his feet unlocks a chamber in his heart previously undiscovered. While drawn to each other during Elizabeth's recovery, Noah knows he can't compete with her yearning to stake a claim in the Yukon gold fields. Noah fears for Elizabeth's safety as she pursues a perilous course but it is a more evil threat from her past that may haunt them forever.Snow Angel captured my imagination from beginning to end. It is an epic romance with fast paced intrigue and an emotional intensity rarely achieved. Jamie Carie's gifted characterisation is of a calibre expected from a multi-published author not one writing her debut novel. Noah and Elizabeth have enormous depth, with appealing attributes alongside tangible weaknesses that evoke an emotional and compassionate response. Jamie does not shy away from portraying genuine romantic tension and desire and the dilemma that poses for Noah, a man of faith and integrity experiencing passion and attraction.Jamie's prose is elegant yet accessible, placing the reader amongst the icy shards of the blizzard and the muck and deprivation of the gold fields. Faith and belief is interwoven seamlessly, gently revealing the loving heart of God amidst the heartache of loss and loneliness. Prepare to be swept away by this powerful tale of love and sacrifice and become a devoted reader of anything Jamie Carie pens in the future.Snow Angel is available now from B&H Publishing Group."
Praise God! That's all I can say. Falling to my knees, tears falling from my eyes. Praise You Lord!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Women's Retreat Update

I went to a women's retreat last weekend. I hadn't gone to a "Women's Retreat" in a long while. A part of me likes them and a part of me . . . well, dislikes them. Women are tough. There always seems like there is a wall of judgment that I have to scale or break through before I feel like I connect. I have had enough conversations with other women to know that I'm not the only one to feel this way. It doesn't matter what we look like on the outside, we all grapple with this thing called sisterhood. But this retreat gave me hope. I'm learning (again) that if I put myself out there I will find acceptance. That we are all scrabbling with the same issues, the same angst, this crazy female life creed of sacrifice and love.

I grew up the eldest of five: me, three brothers and then Jennifer (in the photo), my baby sister and fifteen years younger. I didn't have much of a relationship with Jen until she reached college age. Now, I wouldn't trade her for anything on this Earth. Not anything. She walks such a bold, blazing path. She says things out loud that I'm afraid to think. Check out her blog.

Then I had three sons. I wanted a daughter with each one, but God knows me and knows what I can handle.

Women are hard won.
But worth it.
A big thanks to Stacy for all your help over the weekend! You were wonderful!
And a big thanks to all the women at the conference who embraced me and Snow Angel! What a great time we had at the Reader's Discussion class! A supportive home church is an amazing thing to have! God bless you!!
Oh and the worship leader, Sarah Scharbrough, was fabulous!