World Whisperer is now available in paperback format and the link is here. The reviews so far have been amazing, and I'm so happy to hear about people reading World Whisperer and loving it. I love it too.
Ian, our beloved friend, has gone cosmic. I’m jealous, not of him—because I’m not ready to leave this world—but of God, because Ian is our friend and we wanted him here. That’s why I keep looking at pictures of him. He was with us! The pictures say. He was here and he loved us. Now he’s famous. Glorious. Pain free. He’s gone on to heights we can only dream of. And we’re slightly glorified because we got to know him, his glory reflects on us a little, on our upward-turned faces. (Like my friend Ro said the other day, the whole family gets to claim reflected glory when a family member does something cool. Something cool like going cosmic? That too.) But we’re also left behind, on this side of the door, and it sucks.
Yesterday Leaf guided a meditation on 1 Corinthians 15. I wish you could have seen her, heard her voice as she spoke the holy words, holding her tanpura (an Indian instrument) and singing. She is unearthly. We all are, glowing with something that is not flesh and brain and bone. We have something else. The verse describes these bodies we have as seeds that are sown. What is sown in dishonor is raised in glory.
We held delicate seeds that fly from our nearby trees. Ro can testify that the seeds take root and grow, as she nearly weekly uproots the tiny trees seeded from the flamboyant tree. They want to grow everywhere, in the vegetable gardens, with the flowers, on the road. I held my seed and thought about that seed’s one-dimensional potential. It holds the potential of a tree. It cannot become a piece of sky, or a bird. It can grow straight and tall, it can throw out leaves. It is a small miracle, but it only holds a tree inside, nothing more.
How infinite, then, is Ian’s potential! The Jesus devotee, scuba diver, dancer, philosopher, excellent drink mixer, programmer, father, husband, incredible friend? This is only the seed? This glorious, kind, thoughtful, generous person? (He was our friend, I’d like to point out again. We knew him!)
We saw more of this incredible seed’s potential when he got sick. Because then we saw his ability to suffer with great love. To endure and trust. To smile and be generous with his humor even when he was in the hospital for 100 days, when he was in pain, when his poor body was withering. His soul became all the brighter for it.
Infinite. Now Ian’s soul is lit aflame in the light of God, sown into the heavens, and it is unbearable to think of how fantastic, how magical, how mighty a being he is now. I imagine him striding around, thundering through the cosmos, his laugh shaking the rafters of heaven. I imagine him diving into infinite seas, breaking important things with wild dancing. His soul expanding, exploding with all that potential, so narrowly contained in a human body for so long, confined no longer.
And it sucks. All of this is true and is comforting but infuriating. Even as I write this, my heart hurts and hurts and hurts. One of my dearest friends has lost her husband. Much loved little girls have said goodbye to their father. Chinua has lost his best friend. So many of us have said goodbye, are jealous of heaven, are basking in Ian’s reflected glory with deep, deep pain in our hearts. We knew him. He was our friend. We are so, so thankful we got to know him. I am so thankful that he pursued us, that he and Chinua talked for hours every week, that they crammed approximately 20 years of friendship into these past years. I am thankful for every single time Ian turned to me and said, “You’re so gracious,” and I instantly felt like maybe I wasn’t a failure after all. I’m thankful that he spent his life giving others the courage to be, telling us the truth about ourselves.
And I’m thankful that I get to walk longer with Christy, the mighty, fragile woman whose very soul is a poem, who has shown us what grace truly is. I’m humbled by her, reflecting in her own glory a bit. (She’s my friend! She’s so beautiful, and she’s my friend!) I’m thankful for these friends and with a heart full of sorrow and wonder I’m looking to the years ahead of remembering Ian and loving Christy and the girls.
For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. 1 Corinthians 15:53
Today is the day!!!
I've been having some technical trouble with the paperback edition, which should be solved in a day or two, but the Kindle version of World Whisperer is live in the Amazon store and because of my desire to start this series strong, it is 99 cents for a limited time.
Seven years ago, Isika’s mother walked out of the desert with three children in tow, leading the priest of the Worker village to marry her and take in her children. In all those years, fourteen-year-old Isika has never been able to fit in as a Worker or live up to her role as the priest's daughter, and worse, she has been helpless against the tragedies that have fallen on her family.
But now the four goddesses they serve want another sacrifice, and Isika's stepfather has chosen the next child to be sent out to sea: the little brother who Isika loves more than anything.
This time Isika will not be powerless.
Together, she and her two remaining siblings leave the walls of the Worker village to save their brother, traveling into unknown lands and magic they never could have imagined.
Feedback on World Whisperer has been amazing, with readers describing it as "all-consuming," "a fantastic read," "with a spectacular setting reminiscent of Oz or Narnia."
If you need a little adventure in your life, World Whisperer is the book for you.
I do this on my own, and so appreciate the tweets, shares, or any way you use to pass knowledge along. Word of mouth is the strongest advertisement. Thanks so much for your support. I'll be hanging out on facebook at about 7:00 PST this evening to hang out and answer questions, so maybe I'll see you then!
We're two days away from book launch! This is a dream come true and because I want to send the first book of this series into the stratosphere, I am listing it at $0.99 for a limited time. What! That's right, you heard me. More on that in two days.
Meanwhile, we are celebrating Song Kran, the New Year water festival in Thailand. We went out to play as a posse yesterday, Chinua and I and our kids, as well as our friend Taran and another friend and her son and a few other kids. We soaked many people, we got soaked, we shrieked when people dunked buckets of ice water on us (you try not to scream if you're hit by a bucket of ice water!) and we eventually came home to make a mud puddle on the kitchen floor.
I have to surrender to the chaos.
I may be the tiniest bit anxious right now. Or the biggest bit anxious, and had a fairly major panic attack/meltdown on the weekend. Just another present from my brain to myself. With anxiety, I never know if it actually comes from anything or if it is just chemicals that are wonky in my brain. All I can do is ride the wave until it passes. My brain doesn't absorb happy things when I'm anxious, so I have to tell them to myself.
Look how much fun we're having, I say. We're playing in the streets with water!
We wrote a book.
We planted some spinach and the roses are blooming. We harvested seeds. Isaac is adorable. The teenagers are adorable.
The upper floor house smells like clean laundry and warm wood during the hot season. It gets so warm upstairs that we vibrate with it. And then we go outside and splash water on people driving by in trucks. And old ladies splash us. And the children are growing up and despite myself, despite everything, I am loved by God, who is infinitely wise and restful, fun and kind, giving and deep.
Two more days, beloved readers! Two more days!
I may have underestimated the effect that having Chinua away for six weeks would have on my upcoming book, and the state of that sentence should tell you a bit about my poor overworked brain at the moment. I was very, very behind, but now I have the ship back on course.
And you guys, I am so excited about World Whisperer. I think you'll love it, I think your kids will love it, and I think your grandkids will love it. The characters are like family, and the great thing is that I get to live with them for five more books!
I need advance reviewers for World Whisperer, dear ones! If you think you can read World Whisperer and offer a review on Amazon or Goodreads, I have about ten ebooks to give away. Email me at journeymama[at]gmail[dot]com and I'll send one your way.