Goodbye, 2017.

I don’t know why I love the lines between years so much. Maybe it is the clean break, the possibilities, or taking a moment to think about the past year and all it has done and given and been. 

I am thankful for the gift this year has been. We have had joy and pain, a lot of conflict resolution, tough conversations, an incredible amount of fun, and a lot of travel. We logged hours in the car, broke down and got back on the road. We slept in tents and on floors. We guided many circles of meditation, planted seeds, swam in many bodies of water. 

I know the years of having all my kids in the house are growing short. For the year ahead, I pray to appreciate each moment. I pray to be aware of the presence of God around me and with me. I pray to be one of the many voices of love in the world, that my heart and words would do honor to God. I can’t hope for much more than that.

I went through my iPhone videos and made a little unprofessional video of what I found. Here are some snippets of 2017. Welcome 2018! I think you will be beautiful.

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Now you can support my writing on Patreon. Patrons can give as little as a dollar a month, and get extra question and answer videos and day in the life posts. Thanks to new patron, Heather Cavallin! Your patronage shows your support for my writing, and it means so much to me.

A great light.

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A people,
a people
—frail and lost in darkness of
mood, longing, and ego
desire and addiction—

have seen
a light,
a great light
So full of love
a light of dancing, moving stars
a moment, a glimpse of hope

He is coming near.
He won’t leave us here
Alone.
He will lift us
breathe on us again
and we will live

for

A child has come
a baby takes his first breath,
opens his eyes
born for us, given to us—
He will take the weight of the world.
He is the Wonderful One
the Strong-armed God
the Father who never leaves.
the Prince of Peace.
His beauty goes on and on.
David’s throne, the line back to Abraham
stretching forward into the endless future
on and on with every good thing:
right ways
right actions

Never ending love
and peace.

(A paraphrase of Isaiah 9: 2-7)

 

Have a wonderful, wonderful Christmas, friends. I'm so glad to know you. 

Launch Day!

Here it is, beautiful people! A new book in the world. Shaper's Daughter, Book 3 in the World Whisperer series, is out today. And it's also the day of the relaunch, with all three books heading out with brand new covers. 

Here are the links to where you can buy the books:

World Whisperer
Guardian of Dawn, World Whisperer Book 2  (Formerly Path of Springs.)
Shaper's Daughter, World Whisperer Book 3

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In the third book of the World Whisperer series, Isika must face her deepest fears and emerge with her true identity intact.

Isika is growing into her life in the Royal city of Azariyah. Her pottery apprenticeship is going well and her friendship with Jabari is blossoming. She loves her life with her family and longs to be a normal Maweel girl, something that isn't possible with the Desert King in pursuit of her life.

Evil forces want Isika captured or dead, and the threat of the Great Waste grows stronger daily. Why is the Desert King approaching Azariyah and why is he trying to burn Maween to the ground?

As fires erupt all around Azariyah, the loyalty of the Maweel toward their World Whisperer is tested. Rumors follow Isika as she fights fire and suspicion to protect the city she loves and earn the trust of her people, ultimately standing before an evil so great, it will take everything within her to withstand and defeat it.

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I will be hosting an online Facebook relaunch party to celebrate, and you're all invited! It's a very easy kind of party to attend, with chatter and thoughts about the book, music and a few prizes. You can ask me anything! Just click the button that says you're going, and you'll be able to see all the posts and qualify for prizes.

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And I'm focusing a lot of my promotion efforts on the first book. I need your help! If you have a minute, you can tweet or post on Facebook about my book. Or share one of the images below. Thank you so much! 

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One Thing: Ocean

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We went snorkeling yesterday and it was glorious. Even Isaac got into it, floating along on the top of the water, staring down at the fish underneath. We went out on a big wooden boat with a bunch of other people and hilarious boat guides who sang "My heart will go on" at the front of the boat for laughs. It was the first time I've gone snorkeling since Chinua and I went, just after we got engaged on the Andaman Islands. And it was beautiful to take the kids, to see their delight and watch them diving down to get closer to the coral, narrowly avoiding urchins. 

On the boat, I was reminded of the sea. How it seems to stretch without limit, taking the curve of the earth. A gentle hand. I remembered fish striped or blooming like flowers, unaware, as they swim, of my grocery lists or unanswered emails. Unaware of heat, smoke, or forest fire. They swim closed in a quiet so true it is like a dream. 

This always exists here, at the bottom of the world. In full color, cool and lost to itself, light filtering down through jeweled blue. The fish swim, dreaming of food and tiny crevices in the rock, unaware of my longing.

This and that...

I went for a walk this morning. The world is coming back to life in shades of green. Perhaps if I tried hard enough, I could fly.

I may have looked a little crazy, muttering prayers as I walked. That’s okay, I’m used to looking different, even crazy. Maybe I am crazy. Certainly it feels that way sometimes, as though there is a zoo inside rather than just a girl. The elephants won’t shut up. And the gibbons! Oh the gibbons.

We started school at our house four weeks ago. It’s the Thai way, to start again after the holidays of April, which is the hottest month. May was hot as well, but we lived through it and now I walk in the cool mornings and stare at the tamarind fruit in the trees by the road. The trees are tall, too tall for fruit picking, but I imagine flying up.

I thought of starting another school year and all it means. With homeschool it’s possible to get caught up ticking boxes, or to get overwhelmed and I like to remind myself of what I believe about learning every year. The future isn’t an endless parade of days. I whisper these words to myself in the mornings, I say them out loud to the kids: To play, to learn, to explore thoughts and ideas, to read new stories and write new stories, to learn how to express and how to listen. To dream and make things together, to discover what life is really about, how things work, and what things lift the heart. To explore and grow, to do good in the world and care about others because we have learned something about them.

It beats ticking boxes, though we do that too.

I’ve been having trouble with my neck lately, the old accident wound that still bothers me, thirteen years later. More trouble than usual, but it makes me realize that maybe there’s a word for my type of pain, and maybe that word is chronic, which is a scary word. But using that word doesn’t mean anything different from what I already experience, does it? It’s another sort of meditation; on the body and pain and what can happen outside of pain, what pain cannot control. Paul, a writer in the Bible, calls the body a tent. And though I work from my tent, I run and walk and exercise and eat will, I will not have it forever. And I am very brave. 

And perhaps it is pain, perhaps it is four years of being here, but I am restless. I feel a longing for something that feels like home, though home is here. Maybe it is the forested islands of BC that I long for. But if I was there, I know I would long for Thailand, for Asia. This great discontent is another sort of meditation. My home is in God, my home is in God, my home is in God. My home is in the great, otherworldly Being who shapes mountains, who is the force behind the feeling of belonging, who lifts and soothes and challenges. He is my home. I belong in him. I am in his story.

Ro guided a Devotion Circle about beauty the other day. We talked about beauty and what it is and what it guides us to. We thought about beautiful things. I shared the prayer that Leafy prayed, “Thank you God for creativity, curiosity, and the soothing taste of water.” —one of my favorite prayers ever. I think now of the light in the garden, of Leaf when she wears her bamboo basket to pick basil or chard from the veggie patches, of the birds in the morning, of the painting Kenya made for me, of Isaac’s crazy smile, of China playing the piano, of the fact that we can talk to God and he leans in close to hear us. There are so many beautiful things, more than I can count. I whisper them to myself in the morning, I say them out loud to my friends. It makes me imagine that I will become comfortable with the zoo, perhaps, even the gibbons doing all their gibboning.