Posted by: Judy | June 7, 2023

Reading List 56-60

56Code Word (Saint Squad series Book 6) by Traci Hunter Abramson suspense romance.

57Lock and Key (Saint Squad series Book 7) by Traci Hunter Abramson suspense romance.

58Deep Cover by Traci Hunter Abramson suspense romance is not a Saint Squad story, but this is where it fits in the storyline with all the other stories. 

59Hunted (novella in Twisted Fate) by Traci Hunter Abramson suspense romance. The Doug and Jill aren’t in the Saint Squad and were first introduced in the Undercurrents series. They make appearances in the Saint Squad series.

60.Drop Zone (Saint Squad series Book 8) by Traci Hunter Abramson suspense romance. First appearance of a Guardian, another series that often overlaps with the Saint Squad.

Posted by: Judy | June 6, 2023

Back in 2016

I saw a meme titled “Trauma permanently changes us.” Apparently it hit a nerve as I shared it but added this:

School changes you. Your job changes you. New friendships change you. Each day changes you. Every day, hopefully you learn something new. Every day, you hopefully decide to be a better person. If you follow through on your decision, you change. If you aren’t changing, you’re doing it wrong. Trauma demands a huge change all at once. It is not the worst thing that can happen. The worst thing that can happen is to go through life unchanged, to say nothing, thinking nothing, do nothing, be nothing. Your life will be difficult if you’re struggling to be your best because there is one who wants you to quit or at least to choose to coast through life. Be you. Be the best you. Allow yourself to become a better you every day. Congratulate yourself on making it through the bad days. You beat the adversary that attempted to chain you down. Go you!

Posted by: Judy | June 5, 2023

What is my purpose?

I thought I knew. Life blew up. I thought I settled into my new life. I feel anything but settled. Routines don’t fit. Old habits I’d thought conquered slid back into place. I suspect in an effort to find my footing, something familiar. Not a great reason.

If you do not believe in a personal God, the question: ‘What is the purpose of life?’ is unaskable and unanswerable.
~ J. R. R. Tolkien

I wrote the original of the following back in 2016. Somewhere along the way, I edited it a bit. I don’t know why. When searching my heart on what to write, I rediscovered both the quote and the essay. I think the two dovetail now:

I’ve been doing a lot of not very unproductive mulling. I’m endeavoring to be more open and honest about myself. As a survivor, I’ve spent my life hiding, wishing to be invisible, wanting to disappear. I’m still here. Stepping into the light:

What God Wants Me To Beā€¦

This, in general, will not be new to people who know me. There may be new details but not much else. What was new to me was the bone-deep realization.

I hate it when I wake up at 1 a.m. with a massive realization, a hit the wall, epic fail, stop you in your tracks realization.

This all started because Holley Gerth in You’re Already Amazing and Evan Sanders of The Better Man Project both challenged me to discover what I’m drawn to and in the end who I’m supposed to be. I’ve been pondering what God wants me to be. I thought I knew. I’ve felt like I’ve fallen short or missed the mark or something. I feel like I’ve been wandering in the dark with only flashes of enlightenment. I hit the wall. I was wrong for all my life.

It hit me:

I believed God wanted me to be a wife and mother. I believed with all my heart.

It’s something I believed my whole life. I geared everything toward that end. I didn’t give in to my boyfriends pushing to go further. With each one, we were already going further than I wanted, but I didn’t know how to say ‘no’ without risking losing him. Except I managed to say ‘no’ to giving him the one thing I believed deeply only my husband should have. A couple of my boyfriends even proposed. I said, ‘yes’ to one. No one knew. We kept it secret. I still wouldn’t give him what only a husband should have. He got cold feet temporarily, recovered, and I got cold feet permanently. I couldn’t give to anyone else what I thought belonged only to the man I married because God wanted me to be a wife and mother, in that order, not the other way around.

My parents wanted me to go into engineering because that’s where the money is. It set me up to fail on an epic scale. I don’t just turn numbers around. I turn 6 and 9 upside down. I will say the number out loud while I write it and still write a completely different number. It’s bad enough when only a single digit is involved. Do that when writing out a four or five digit number. I don’t simply switch the digits; I write completely different numbers. I have to remind myself that 3 and cursive E go in opposite directions, while 5 and s really do turn the same way and the same with 2 and z. I have to remind myself that the cursive Z and 2 look similar but 2 really doesn’t have a tail on it. And this is the child who wasn’t given any choice but to enroll in college as an engineering major.

I found my backbone, a little bit, and changed it to home economics, but was met with opposition, so I changed it to computer engineering. I proceeded to take classes from every department at the college except automotive and art, only because it didn’t occur to me to take an automotive class, and I didn’t want to sketch naked people and that was a part of Art 101. I did learn to change oil, filters, windshield wipers, and tires. I also took a calligraphy class from Parks and Rec. I considered cooking and sewing to be my art. I wanted to be well rounded because I was going to be a wife and mother. I wanted to be able to encourage my children in whatever they wanted to pursue.

Over the years, I took classes in finances, accounting, psychology, sociology, English, French, Spanish, chemistry, college algebra, typing, gourmet cooking, sewing, real estate, ice skating, yoga, communication, and a variety of others. During that time, I also worked in Yellowstone for a summer, served a mission in Thailand, lived in Europe for a summer, worked at a variety of jobs, including for the airlines. By the time I graduated with my two-year degree, I was in my 30s, and I’d acquired several certificates of completion in other programs like travel agency and sign language interpreter. If I could have graduated on credit hours, I would have had a Bachelors. However, they weren’t all in one program, so it was only a two-year degree.

All of it, every last thing was done with the thought in mind that I wanted to be a well-rounded wife and mother. I wanted to give to my husband and children someone who was willing to learn almost anything to become a better person, to bring as much as I could to the table to make life richer, fuller, happier.

I’m over 60 now. There is no husband. No children. All I ever wanted or dreamed about. And I wonder what God intended me to be, and how did I miss hearing the message because it wasn’t what I wanted, to be a wife and mother.

I don’t have enough skills in any one area to support myself in a gainful profession. It’s my own fault because I focused my attention on the dream of being a good wife and mother someday instead of figuring out a way to support myself.

I’m also ashamed to say that to me they were mutually exclusive. I wanted to be a stay-at-home wife and mother. I also feared I’d miss the opportunity if I became involved in a career. I’m single-minded as a way of battling OCD and other problems with being easily distracted. I know this about myself. I understood choosing one would exclude the other in my mind. I pursued what I wanted most.

Only in the last few years have I discovered I’m also a storyteller. I have been all my life. It’s really all I know.

So, if you wonder why I write romance, it’s what I know.

However, since my world blew sky high, it’s been a constant battle to not trash everything. Nothing fits. I endeavor to give everything to God, but I don’t even know what everything is. I have moments of perfect peace, but a single step forward erupts in chaos. Life is jumbled, topsey-turvey, upside down, inside out, living from one moment to the next with no idea of how to right my world and get back on track.

Posted by: Judy | June 4, 2023

Sunday Inspiration

Posted by: Judy | June 3, 2023

Silliness posted on SM

I don’t know who posted this first; I’ve seen several versions, but this one came up in my Memories:

Posted by: Judy | June 2, 2023

Good News Friday

*Movies/TV fun: “Ever After” “Flag of My Father” “The Secret Handshake”

*Air conditioning and fans, through the summer

*Church

*Memorial Day

*Yummy fried chicken, potato salad, baked beans, and cake

*Visiting a friend

*Water main broke, shutting off all water to the community; maintenance, despite it being after 8 pm, worked to repair it, fixing it within a couple of hours. God bless them.

*Favorite authors

*Good books

*God’s grace

What was something good in your week?

Posted by: Judy | June 1, 2023

Week Twenty-Two Learn of Me

If I cannot give everything to Jesus, then I am holding something with greater regard than Him. Beholding Him Ministries shared 1 Thessalonians 5:20-22

20 Despise not prophesyings.

21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.

Long before I adopted my “Rule #1: Stop lying, especially to yourself,” I worked to abstain from all appearance of evil. You can imagine the chaos when the lies in my foundation clashed with my desire to avoid the appearance of evil. Rationalization reigns over faith, honor, integrity. Definitely not in keeping with following Jesus.

Interestingly, I discovered that choosing the truth, painful though it is sometimes, is actually a time-saving shortcut. Lies are one of evil’s tools. Abstaining from lies is also abstaining from evil. Choosing truth means rejecting evil. Choosing truth also means choosing good.

The world will mock and harangue and belittle and condemn anything that refuses the lies it demands be accepted and celebrated. The world will not last forever. Jesus offers forever, with Him. Am I brave enough to take hold of His outstretched hand?

Posted by: Judy | May 31, 2023

Posted on SM over 2 years ago

Still true and still relevant:

Hang on. Even if it’s only five minutes at a time. God is mindful, no matter how far away He seems to be; He’s right there in it with you. Why He lets pain go on for some people and delivers others is because He sees the end from the beginning. He sees the seed splitting and breaking open, pushing through the dirt to find the sun and bloom. He sees the coal crushed into a diamond. He created the mollusk to turn a grain of sand into a pearl. He made you and whatever the adversary means for harm God will shape into good, giving beauty for ashes. Trust Him with your ashes.

~ Laurel Hawkes

Posted by: Judy | May 30, 2023

Reading List 51-55

51Lockdown (Saint Squad series Book 2) by Traci Hunter Abramson suspense romance.

52Crossfire (Saint Squad series Book 3) by Traci Hunter Abramson suspense romance.

53Backlash (Saint Squad series Book 4) by Traci Hunter Abramson suspense romance.

54Smokescreen (Saint Squad series Book 5) by Traci Hunter Abramson suspense romance.

55. ObsessionĀ by Traci Hunter Abramson suspense romance. Though this is not a Saint Squad story, characters within it are secondary characters in Saint Squad stories. This is also where the book fits in the series. The newest Saint Squad story includes the characters in this book.

Posted by: Judy | May 29, 2023

Memorial Day

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