In my Bible reading, I’m revisiting the book of John in the New Testament.
Some mornings when I read it feels like I’m walking side by side with Jesus on dusty roads or sitting on grassy hillsides listening to His teachings.
This was one of those mornings. As I read through chapter 10, I could hear the confusion and disbelief in the Pharisees’ voices (and in my own). And the confident, compassionate clarity in Jesus’ voice.
Jesus said so much in those 42 verses that can cast out fear, replace lies with truth, comfort us, ground us in courage, and fill us with hope.
I’ve selected seven of those truths for us to consider and camp on. (more…)
I was ready to roll. To the gym.
Workout clothes. Check.
Nylon backpack. Check.
Membership card. Check.
Off I went.
Upon arrival, I parked in a space close to the glass door so as to guard against over-exercising before I ever reached the treadmill or the mat. I dug my key fob, membership card, and phone from my purse and dropped them all into the side-pocket on my backpack.
I popped the car door open then turned to step out onto the asphalt. That’s when my feet came into view. (more…)
Friends, heartache hits all of us. At one time or another.
Sometimes it feels like we’re still riding one wave of heartache when another wave hits. Seems like we may never again glimpse a peaceful shoreline.
If we live long enough you and I will stare down many harbors of heartache. The burial of a loved one. Betrayal. The loss of a career. A chronic illness. Financial disaster. The list is long.
Right now you might feel stuck in a season of sorrow. Or have a friend who is camped in a hurting place. This resource is for you. (more…)
Sometimes a hefty dose of healthy frustration is good for us, right?
No doubt you can relate to a tidbit from a recent page in my journal . . . .
July 15, 2019
According to the calendar, I’m 65 today. I don’t know where or how to begin to wrap my head around that fact.
My mother-in-law suffered a stroke nearly five weeks ago that stopped us in our tracks and turned us in circles. I was finally on a writing retreat facing a couple of days away to write on the novel. I haven’t looked at it since the call.
She was in the hospital for six days, the rehab center for twenty days, now she’s been in the assisted living home for one week. Having sold her mobile in the past two weeks, I’ve nearly emptied it and both of her sheds.
I’ve seen my mom, my step-dad, and now my mother-in-law suddenly separated from their former lives and their stuff as the result of disease and the need for more directed care. In each case, I found myself sifting through every photo, squirreled away bread wrapper, birthday card, to-do list, and unused stamp. (more…)
In April, I returned to one of my favorite places to retreat–Mount Hermon Christian Camp, nestled in the California redwoods. Home of the Mount Hermon Christian Writers’ Conference held annually the weekend before Easter. I was there this year as a mentor for children’s writers.
Early Palm Sunday morning, I walked to one of my go-to sites for retreat on the Mount Hermon grounds. Victory Circle. (more…)
After a ten month hiatus, I’m writing again and I’m back on social media more regularly. I missed connecting with you.
May 17, 2018, I was on my way to Kona, Hawaii, where I teach for YWAM (Youth with a Mission). For two weeks. Tough gig, I know. And one I count as a big blessing and look forward to every year.
The week of the 21st I would teach on writing children’s literature. The following week, my students would walk with me around the world of fiction writing.
I tucked my rolling computer case full of teaching supplies between the two purple suitcases in the back of my car. I’d slipped the file folder of notes for my nonfiction book for women between my laptop and course files.
Family members in transition lived with us the first three months of 2018. This getaway to Kona, though a business trip, would be the reset button I needed to concentrate on my own writing during the windows of downtime before and between my weeks of teaching.
As I drove the highway between my house and I-17 toward Phoenix, my plans for the day played in my head. First stop, Starbucks in Camp Verde for a chai latte. On to Olive Garden for minestrone soup, salad, and breadsticks before settling into a hotel room with my work-in-progress writing project. Several hours of uninterrupted writing stretched out before me. I sighed with delight.
We all know plans can change. We get interrupted. (more…)
One week from today, we’ll gather with family, friends, or neighbors to celebrate Christmas with merry decorations, gift-gifting, and a festive feast.
As I reflect upon God’s provision of a Christmas baby, who would grow to become our Easter Savior, I find myself contemplating the simplicity of His plan. Not an easy plan, but a modest one.
Jesus would come to earth as both God and man to simple folk: a teenager and a carpenter. Not to be birthed in a pristine palace, but on a gritty road trip instead. (more…)
2013 has faded into the sunset and most of the year 2014 still stretches out before us, a clean slate.
I write historical fiction set in the 1800s, a time when one-room schoolhouses were common. Students of varying ages and stages of education would use a school slate, a piece of quarry slate framed with wood, and a slate pencil to form letters of the alphabet and to practice their sums.
The advantage of slates over paper was that they could be wiped clean. The historical novelist in me looks at a new year as a clean slate, which offers a fresh start. The year 2014 is fresh and presents us with an opportunity to write a new chapter in our lives. My novels and novellas celebrate fresh starts and new beginnings. Whether it is the Sinclair Sisters forced by their fathers to go west, the Saint Charles Quilting Circle facing the aftermath of the Civil War without the men they loved, or The Boone’s Lick Wagon Train Company traversing The Oregon Trail looking for a better life, my story characters find fresh starts. So do you and I. On a daily basis, because of God’s amazing, renewing grace. (more…)
In Dandelions on the Wind, Maren Jensen has immigrated to America, her heart full of plans to send for her family and give them a better life. When her failing eyesight narrows her own prospects for a new life, darkness begins to swallow her hope, along with her vision.
As Maren lifts a glowing match to the wick of an Advent candle to commemorate the coming of the Light of the world, she surrenders her darkness to God, looking to Jesus to be her Light.
“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world:
he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.’”
John 8:12, KJV
In what ways has Jesus been Light in your life this past year?
© 2012 Mona Hodgson, Author and Speaker