Very special people.

We have a house full of Devenishes, Chinua says. My parents have come for a visit! I drove down to Chiang Mai the day before yesterday to pick them up, and we ate papaya salad, sticky rice, and grilled chicken in celebration before driving back over the mountains to get home. My sister was also here for a few days and will be back after she visits the beaches in the south.  

I see everything through new eyes; how beautiful Thailand is, as well as how sparse our furniture and how differently we live. How strange some of it would appear— no couches, little softness, our mattress on the floor. 

Yesterday we were all up in the dark making coffee in our outdoor kitchen. My parents woke up in the wee-est of hours, jetlagged and body-confused. I was up for work, so we drank coffee and sat on chairs in the kitchen. I went to write for a while, then came back to sit on the porch with them. My dad climbed into the chariot with me to drive to the market. I showed him off, telling all the market ladies that he was my dad, and they exclaimed that he was still so young and strong! Parents are a big deal in Thailand, so it is suitably gratifying to show them off. 

We bought a lot of vegetables and my dad pointed at various things and asked what they all were. He started planning a stir fry. Shopping for vegetables in the market is one of the very best things about living here, so it felt amazing to wander around the market with him. I’ll take him and my mom to the afternoon street market next. 

Yesterday we ate, and cooked, and rested, and talked. Leafy told Becca that her Star Wars name would be Chewbecca. My mom made friends with Wookie, our little white dog. Kai sat and chatted with us, breaking out with his amazing smile often, showing us pictures of what Wookie’s babies would look like and begging for puppies. Solo and Kenya went for a macramé class and when they came back, Becca and Kenya and I had some of our insane cuddles. At one point Kenya “sat” in my lap for a while, and Becca came and joined her, until I was on the bottom of a puddle of my favorite girls. Isaac ran around telling stories and refusing to give hugs. There was a lot of love, a lot of happiness. 

 Brendan and Ruby came over for Pad Kee Mao (a noodle stirfry) at dinner time and we pulled out google maps of Vancouver Island to explain how big it is and how it is oriented. Brendan told them about his retreat on a lake in Ontario, and they told him about living in Australia in the early 80’s, comparing place names and wondering if they knew the same people. 

I love it when people I love meet each other. I think it’s going to be a good few weeks of a lot of chatter and goodness. I want to remember all of it.

***

Now you can support my writing on Patreon. Patrons can give as little as $1 a month, and get extra vlogs and posts. Thanks to new patron, Heather Cavallin! Your patronage shows your support for my writing, and it means so much to me. 

Patrons, send me your questions for January's Q and A video! 

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.

***

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.

***

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.