Saying Good-bye to Amber

This is the eulogy I wrote the day Amber died. Unfortunately, due to time issues, I wasn’t able to share it at the funeral, but since I promised her I’d do a eulogy, here it is.

The truth is I never wanted to have to give this eulogy. Amber asked me several times after she went into rejection to speak at her funeral, but I was hoping this day wouldn’t come for a very long time.

But, as Amber would say, it is what it is so I better own it.

I wish I could tell you why God allows things like this to happen – why He would take a young mother and wife. But I can’t.

In fact, if I’m perfectly honest (and we all know if Amber was here she’d tell me I should be), God and I have had a few words over the past few days about the unfairness of cutting short a life that meant so much to so many.

But here’s the thing, Amber would be the first person to tell me about God’s sovereignty in the midst of human suffering. It was her life’s message, and one she didn’t just pay lip service to. But one she had learned by walking one hard step after the other.

IF she was here today – after she told me to quit being stupid – she would want you to trust in that sovereignty. She would want you to know that God is good no matter the circumstances or how unfair or hard things seem.

Because she knew a secret that people who suffer know – God’s presence and His goodness and His grace can make even the ugliest of things beautiful just because He is there walking with us.

So, today, I want to do what Amber has asked me to do – remember her and celebrate her life because she is truly someone who should be celebrated.

There are 13 years between Amber and I (as she would often say – we were from different generations), and while I knew who she was when she was a teen in a periphery sort of way, we didn’t get to be friends until she was in her 20s.

The truth is the very first time Amber and I had a conversation, I remember coming home and thinking, “Man, that girl is SO pushy!”

We interacted periodically, and then, a few years later, I asked if she wanted to go out to dinner. We bonded over pasta at Fazolis. That was probably almost 12 years ago now.

The thing I will always remember about Amber and why I am having such a hard time believing she is really gone is she was one of the most alive people I have ever met. Probably because death was her constant companion for so long, it made her more aware of time than most people. Sure, we all know we could die at any time. I could walk outside and get hit with a truck tomorrow, but we don’t really LIVE that way.

Psalms 90:12 says, “So, teach us to number our days, that we may present to you a heart of wisdom.”  She was someone who always knew her days were numbered, and so she wisely lived the ones she had fully. She met each morning with a joy and fearlessness that was kind of amazing.

As someone who tends to be rather wimpy, I was always in awe of the way she just plowed through life even though the next infection could mean she was done. Instead of letting her circumstances make her bitter or allowing her precarious health to paralyze her with fear, she took each day as it came and as the gift it was.

You could see this most clearly in her relationships. I have been doing this word study on love in I, II and III John, and I came across the verse in I John 3:18 the day after Amber died. It seemed so appropriate. ‘Little children, let us love not with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.”

Amber didn’t just talk about loving people. She demonstrated that in numerous ways. You could see her living out this verse in her love for Jesus, her love for John, her love for Noah, and her love for her friends and family.

Her first love was Jesus – always. She was someone who was rooted and grounded in her faith. It wasn’t just lip service for her. It was the rock on which she built her life. If she was here today, she would tell you it’s the rock you should build your life on too, not the shifting sands of feelings or feel-good theology that tells you God just wants you to be happy. I think Amber’s life makes it clear that He is more interested in your holiness than your happiness, and ultimately that holiness is what brings you true joy.

Her second love was for John. She was passionate about being a good wife to John. She looked for ways to serve and love him every day because she knew their time would probably be short. Amber was never someone who did anything halfway. When she was in, she was all in. This was never more evident to me than when she started to date John. She knew, without a doubt, this was who she was supposed to marry – and heaven help anyone who stood in the way of that!

Her third most important love was Noah, and she was also passionate was being a good mom to Noah. Even though the road to motherhood was difficult and there were potholes of heartache along the way, she kept walking, never taking her eyes off the goal. In fact, the one thing that makes me smile in all this is the fact that Amber will finally meet that baby she miscarried over 6 years ago. The one she held in her heart.

And when she got Noah, the joy she had – it just radiated. I know it made her sad that her time with him was probably limited, that unless the Lord performed a miracle she wouldn’t see him graduate or get married. I know there were days she struggled with the fact that her health limited what she could do and where she could go with Noah. But even on days when she could barely breathe, she didn’t check out. She was there with everything she was able to bring, and trust me, chasing a toddler around with 30% lung function and small airways that had only 15% capacity was no joke. She was always exhausted, especially the last 6 months or so.

Finally, Amber loved her friends and her family. I was able to watch Amber as she worked at being a good wife and mom. I was inspired by her love and dedication to Jesus. But I was a recipient of her friendship. As I said, when Amber was in, she was all in. She was fiercely loyal and heaven help the person who messed with one of her people.

True friends are difficult to come by. You might only have a handful in your entire life. I counted Amber as one of those true friends. Although we had very different personalities, we both agreed that being real was important.

That was very true in our friendship and I’m sure it was in her other friendships as well. What I loved about Amber – well, most of the time – was that she would call you on your crap but at the same time, I could say anything to her and knew she wouldn’t be silently judging me. In Proverbs it says, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend.” We both believed that. Sometimes, she would say the hard stuff, and sometimes, I would say the hard stuff, but we always spoke the truth to each other. Love is not always warm and fuzzy. Love sometimes says the things you don’t want to hear, but if it is silent, then it isn’t really love. It’s just enabling with a nice face.

Amber only lived a few streets over from me, and I would often drop by for short visits. We would message each other back and forth most days. I still find myself wanting to turn my car down her street or wanting to shoot her a message and see how her day is going. I still expect to see my private message to ding with, “Are you still alive over there?”

As I said, Amber and I had different personalities but we also had quite a few things in common. We were both writers, for one thing, and had a love of both words and good grammar (and yes, we were both silently correcting your grammar). We could count on each other to say whether something worked or it didn’t. Trust me, that is a gift because most people won’t tell you the truth.

Another thing Amber and I shared was our love of Scripture and the correct teaching of said Scripture. We had many long talks about different points of theology, and why we believed what we did. We questioned each other’s points of view on things. We were iron sharpening iron.

The simple truth is I will miss Amber every day.  I KNOW Amber is in a better place. She is whole and restored and perfectly at peace in all fullness of joy in the presence of her Savior.

As I Thessalonians 4:13 says, “But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as the rest who have no hope.”

But while I grieve with great hope, it doesn’t change the fact that, for me, the world is an emptier place without her.

I have walked the road of grief before though, and I know in some measure what Amber did about pain and suffering – God never leaves us and He never forsakes us. He has this miraculous way of taking our ashes and turning them into garlands of beauty. I have no doubt that He will use Amber’s death as He has used her life – to remind us who HE is and to bring Him glory which let’s face it, is really the entire point.

The Importance of Moving Forward

2019 Promised to Be a Year of Change.

It is now over halfway through 2019. I knew at the start of this year a lot of fairly big things would be happening. Things like my youngest son graduating from high school and my older son going back to college. Things like entering a new season of parenting and life.

But I had NO idea what 2019 would really entail.

As I thought about my word for 2019, I tossed around quite a few before settling on EQUIPPED. (I always know I’ve hit on the right word because I start crying- and I’m not really much of a crier).

More Change Than I Realized

I was barely into 2019 when I broke my leg. I’ve never broken a limb before, and I have to say, I could go the rest of my life without experiencing it again. While I am thankful I had the best-case scenario if you are going to break a leg, it was also a huge inconvenience.

It made everything take longer, become more complicated and difficult.

But, I got past it. I managed to not miss any of my son’s games during his last season of basketball, and I navigated the many college visits (and their innumerable stairs; WHY do colleges have SO. MANY. STAIRS???)

And I kept writing.

In fact, I wrote the majority of book 2 in my middle-grade fantasy adventure series, Pan’s Secret, on my couch with my crutches propped up next to me.

In some ways, having limited movement with fewer expectations made writing easier. I mean, what else did I have to do? I certainly wasn’t going to go take a walk or anything.

The End of One Chapter

This spring was something of a marathon as we headed into the homestretch of Brody’s senior year. Each big event was part of the countdown to graduation: the last basketball game, the last sports banquet, the last musical, the junior/senior banquet. Each of those things were the winding down of one chapter in the anticipation of the start of another.

I enjoyed those events, and had my moments of nostalgia. I did all the< “how did time go so fast?” and “didn’t he just start middle-school?” type of musings.

When Change Isn’t So Pleasant

And when he had graduated and the big party was over, I went in to see my doctor for a check-up.

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t really wasn’t expecting anything to be truly wrong.

Sure, I had also had a few times that spring when I felt abnormally out of breath and my heart seemed to pound, but I’d also just spent a couple of months not moving much. If it wasn’t for these weird creases in my earlobes (and studies prove they can indicate a problem), I might even have pushed that check-up to the fall.

Until my EKG was abnormal.

And the echo was really abnormal.

I remember listening to the nurse talking and saying all these words that were completely foreign to me: global hypokinesis, ejection fraction, and cardiomyopathy.

When I looked them up, I felt like I was entering a new world – one that I definitely didn’t want to visit. The world of heart failure.


Coming to Grips With Reality

I know, they always tell you not to google anything, but I have a very active imagination. I am also the type of person who gathers information and knowledge when I’m facing something scary. It makes me feel prepared.

But what I read sounded dire and more than scary. It sounded, well, terminal.

And suddenly the idea of a five-year plan seemed dumb, mostly because I wasn’t sure I’d be around in 5 years.

Instead of wondering what I was going to do in this new chapter of my life, I found myself wondering what I would be doing in what was probably my last chapter of life.

What Do I Really Believe?

I found myself looking straight at the question of whether I really believed that to live was Christ and to die was gain.

The truth is, we all know in our heads that technically we could die at any time, but the reality of that – not so much.

God and I had to wrestle it out, piece by piece.

That looked like spending time in prayer and memorizing Psalms 91:1-10 and reviewing Ephesians 1.

And one of the first pieces I had to click into place was whether I would still obey what God called me to do which is to write? Or would I let fear freeze me into place?

So, I sat down and I wrote.

Obeying Even When You Don’t Know the Outcome

It wasn’t easy. The first few days, my writing felt stiff, and the voices of my characters sounded far away and tinny.

There were times I wondered why I was doing this anyway, and the temptation to while away my time worrying called to me.

I kept pushing forward, though, and eventually, I found my groove. And I wrote the first draft of my third book between the visit with the cardiologist and my very first heart catheterization which happened yesterday.

A New Chapter

The good news is that my heart is clear. There are no blockages, and its function has improved since that echo back in June. My dilated cardiomyopathy was probably caused by either a virus or stress, and my doctor said my condition should improve over time, especially if I take good care of myself.

When I chose my word for this year, I’m not sure what I thought I’d learn. I certainly didn’t think it would involve one scenario after another where I was basically in a position of helplessness and I couldn’t fix it.

I do know that what God HAS shown me.

HE is the one who is equipped to help us get through anything that we face.

HE is the one that will go with us if we continue to push forward – even if that seems hard or difficult or impossible.

HE is the one that does the equipping, and the best place to be thus equipped is when we are at His complete mercy.

Don’t Let Fear Keep You From Moving Forward

I don’t know what you are facing today. I don’t know which mountain you are standing at the foot of, whose summit seems unattainable for whatever reason. What I do know is that God is always faithful and true and that He always keeps HIs promises. He never leaves us or forsakes us, and HE DOES equip us for every good work He created us to do, even if that seems impossible.


He will hide you under His pinions;

Under his wings, you may seek refuge.

His faithfulness is a shield and a bulwark.

Psalms 91:3

Reflecting on the Lessons This Winter

Today I am joining up with Emily P. Freeman to reflect on what I’ve learned during this past season. Reflection is something that I’ve been learning to do the past few years. It’s easy to forget because we get busy, and the frenetic pace of life tends to push us forward without much time to look backward. But I am learning that slowing down and reflecting and remembering the time just past has a lot to teach me. So, without further ado, here is what I learned during this winter season.

It’s Hard to Ask for Help

If you read this blog at all, you know that I broke my leg in January. To be honest, that still sounds ridiculous to me – that I actually broke my leg. But I did. The result was hopping around on crutches and needing a lot of help – which I found surprisingly difficult to ask for. I dipped into why that was in this post.

I Don’t Have to Do Everything

Riding on the coattails of the previous thing I learned is the fact that I don’t actually have to do everything around my home. I guess I kind of fell into the pattern of doing everything for everyone because they were busy and I wanted to be helpful and doesn’t a good mom serve her family? Since I have zero serving gifts, that never comes naturally. And when something doesn’t come naturally to me, I tend to sometimes go overboard in the opposite direction. In January and February, I had to ask for a lot of help. As I went down to one crutch and then no crutches, I realized I didn’t actually have to take back ALL those responsibilities. My family could pitch in too since they, you know, live here too.

I Still Want to Put God in a Box When it Comes to Answers

My youngest son is a senior this year, and he wants to major in film and art. Because of that interest, we have all decided – him included – that he needs to go to a Christian college for a variety of reasons. The thing is Christian colleges are expensive, and I had no idea HOW we were going to afford this. I started praying last year that God would provide. During the intervening time, I’ve thought I knew how God was going to do that. I would see what seemed like a very obvious way, and then when it didn’t work out, feel deeply disappointed. LIke God had somehow not lived up to expectation. The thing is, while I know God will provide, His answers never are what I’m expecting. You’d think I would have learned to just enjoy the ride by now.

A Gym Can Be More Than a Gym

My husband is a basketball coach. My kids have both played sports since they were very young. My youngest son played his last basketball game in the gym at their school (the gym I cheered in as a high schooler) in February. It was a surprisingly difficult moment for me. That gym had seen some of our most exciting moments and some of our most difficult as a family. I will miss watching my boys play there, and I was surprised by that.

Fellowship is Important

This winter I started an online Bible study with some women from my church. We all had one friend in common and knew each other, but didn’t really KNOW each other. That has been such a huge blessing in my life. For years, I’ve taught a Sunday school class, and while I loved the women in it and loved to teach, it’s different to be the teacher rather than just part of the group. It had been a long time since I’d just been a part of the group. I realized how much I had missed that. Not to mention, I feel I’ve deepened some friendships and found some true fellowship.


So how about you? What has this winter taught you? I’d love to hear about it!





Five Minute Fridays – BALANCE

Today is Friday which means it’s Five Minute Friday. If you don’t know what Five Minute Friday, it’s where women from all over the world come together to write for five minutes on one word – no editing, no second-guessing. You can head on over HERE to check it out.

Today’s word is BALANCE

write-4.jpg (800×800)

Balance, as we think of it, is a myth. I know because I’ve chased after it all of my adult life – this idea that if I just have things in balance, I can do all the things equally well. The truth is balance doesn’t mean that at all.

You see, I thought of balance like those people who spin plates and keep them all going at once and they keep adding more plates until finally they can’t keep up with all the spinning and the plates start to crash one by one.

My to-do list used to have – no joke – about 25 items on it for one day, and then I was confused and frustrated and annoyed with myself when I didn’t cross them all off. Crazy, right? But I did this for literally YEARS!


Part of that is because I have no concept of time. I freely admit it. I am a creative and that whole ability to estimate how long something will take? That totally doesn’t work in my brain! So, I would be overly optimistic about how much I could get done. (It’s also why I tend to be late a lot because I think I can squeeze in one more thing!).

True balance is about understanding the real parameters of your time available, your energy and the capacity of your plate.

See, balance isn’t about spinning all those plates in the air. It’s about looking at the plate you’ve been given and being realistic about how full you can fill it before things start spilling off the sides or everything is too squished to really enjoy (anyone else like to eat their food separately or is that just me?)

We can’t compare our plate to how much someone else has on theirs because each of us has a different size and shape based on a lot of things – health, responsibilities, seasons of life. Yours won’t look like mine. So, balance is as individual as we are.

Once I learned that, I spent a whole lot less time picking up broken china!

Blessings, Rosanne

Stuck? Maybe You’re Not Using the Right Tool

It’s mid-June and my garden is still not planted.

In my defense, we had an unseasonably cold spring. Case in point, I was toweling snow off my dog mid-April.

Then we had rain. A lot of rain.

And it was the end of school which is always busy for me both as a mom and a teacher.

And then I was finishing up revisions on my novel.

The truth is, I haven’t planted my garden for about three years, so the grass it displaced had decided to reclaim its space. Instead of just digging up lightly rooted weeds from one season, I had to dig a lot deeper to clear out grass and weeds that had rooted deeply. (there’s probably a lesson there and maybe I’ll blog about that later).

I kind of put it off much of the morning.

Lingering over my coffee. Reading another chapter in the current good-for-me book I’m reading. But finally, I put on my work clothes, popped in my earbuds, and went outside.

The first obstacle I faced was finding my shovel and unearthing my wheelbarrow. In fact, I had to call my husband because even though I went into our shed TWICE, I couldn’t find it. I had to move A LOT of stuff out of the way and wrestle that wheelbarrow from underneath all the stuff (on a side note, I do wonder why we have so many empty boxes in our shed).

Finally, I had the wheelbarrow and my shovel. My gardening gloves had long since disappeared, so I decided to wing it.

The original wood that enclosed my single raised bed garden was rotted and old. I had bought a raised bed kit, so I broke down that old wood. Left was a patch of raised weeds and grass, their roots tightly woven together into one big matted square.

I started to try to dig up this grass.

I’m not in the best physical shape (one of my goals this summer is to change that). Walking my dog for 20-30 minutes every day just doesn’t prepare you for manual labor – at least not this woman!

Digging up that 4 by 4-foot patch was A LOT harder than it looked. Some areas were looser and came free with a minimum of effort, but other areas seemed determined not to be moved.

After several sessions of digging and chopping at this mess, I started thinking that maybe I’d have to give up. After all, I didn’t want to have a heart attack or something and just keel over in the backyard!

I came back into the house to take a break. As I sat there trying to catch my breath and figure out what to do – try again or call it quits – it occurred to me that maybe what I needed was not more muscle, but a sharper edge to get the job done.

It was amazing the difference it made. Don’t get me wrong – it was still hard work. Even using that hoe, I was still working up a good sweat, but it was SO much more effective.

After clearing the second half of that space in literally half the time, I came back into hydrate and take a breather. As I sat down to drink my water bottle and do a little Facebook scrolling (hey, I earned it!), it hit me.

So many times when we are stuck, it’s not that we are doing the wrong thing. It’s that we are using the wrong tools.

When we are frustrated or discouraged because something seems way harder than it should be, it’s so easy to want to give up. Whether that thing is a job or a relationship or a dream.

It’s so easy to keep doing what we’ve always been doing, trying harder and harder until we just can’t anymore.

But maybe what we need isn’t a new path or person or situation. Maybe what we need to do is back up and see if we are using the most effective tools for the job.

Blessings, Rosanne



How to Move Forward When You’re Terrified

I’m sitting here looking at the first draft of my novel.

What I really need to do is start revisions, but I’ve been letting everything else push this work to the bottom of the pile

I’ve been wondering why revising my work seems so hard to get to. When I was banging out my first draft, I didn’t have trouble saying no to other things, but revising – well, that’s been a totally different story (no pun intended).

Sure, you should let the manuscript “rest” (which always reminds me of the directions for cooking a roast), but I really should have started last week.

Instead, I wandered around in a discombobulated fog. And a whole week slipped by, and I didn’t even look at my manuscript. Revising should be easier than getting that first draft down right? So why was I having so much trouble?

The simple answer is I’m afraid. Well, actually, I’m kind of terrified.

While I wrote, I just concentrated on the next scene. When I was stuck or wanted to quit, I just told myself that it didn’t have to be any good. I just had to get it down.

I haven’t actually read the whole story, and I’m terrified it’s awful – unsalvageable. That this dream I’ve carried with me since I was 12 years old, of being an author, isn’t actually possible.

Because I’m not good enough.

Let’s be really honest here. It’s the first draft. Of my first novel. Saying that it isn’t best seller material is probably a vast understatement. It’s going to take work to get it into the best possible shape for my readers.

But that isn’t the type of fear I’m talking about. I’m talking about the fear that I just don’t have the ability to write stories  – at all.

So, the question becomes how do you move forward when you are terrified?

Here’s what I’ve found. There is no magical formula that will ever make you feel ready when you are terrified. So, you have to move forward scared.

You take a deep breath.

You pray for courage.

And you start.

I’m reminded of the children of Israel, poised on the banks of the Jordan River. The Promised Land is just on the other side. But between them and their dream is the water, frothing and overspilling its banks.

The priests stare at the raging water. All they have to do is take the first step and God promised He will do the rest. But oh the terror in that first step.

But they did it – and you and I can, too.

So, I’m going to wrap up now because I have some revision to do.

And I better get started.

Blessings, Rosanne

Five Minute Friday: INTENTIONAL

Life has been a bit crazy the last six weeks or so, but I am back at Five Minute Friday. If you haven’t heard of Five Minute Fridays, it is where women (and some men too!) from all over the world write about one word for 5 minutes. No editing. No second guessing. Just publishing. You can join in with your own post OR just read others HERE.

The word this week is INTENTIONAL.

Intentional is kind of a buzz word these days, isn’t it? Everyone it seems wants to be intentional – in their parenting, in their relationships, in their faith, in their work, even in their play. People (especially women) have woken up to the fact that they want to be intentional with their time and how they spend it.

I get it. I do. We have one life to live, and we don’t want to waste it. And let’s be honest, if we aren’t intentional about our time, we can waste it, frittering it away on social media or just sort of drifting through our days and letting life happen to us rather than the other way around.

But here’s the deal. As good as all that is (and it is – even the Bible says to use our days wisely), I think it has become another form of perfectionism that can paralyze us from doing the very thing we want to do: live intentionally. 

We can become so afraid that we aren’t being intentional, our schedules can become so rigid there is no room for spontaneity or fun. We can become so “intentional” we end up missing the very people we WANT to connect with on a deeper level because we’ve lost our flexibility.

A case in point – I am a lover of PowerSheets. This is product put out by Lara Casey (you can find the 6 month versions here as the full year has sold out) that helps you do some soul digging work to find good goals. Not the typical New Year’s resolutions that you abandon a week into January, but truly meaningful, good goals that you work on all year long. (am I the only person who feels like they have to accomplish ALL the goals in January?). As a buyer of PowerSheets, I am also part of the Facebook group for the first time this year. I was surprised just how paralyzed many of the women felt – like they were going to do goal setting wrong, like they had to get intentional living just right. Despite the fact that Lara is an active participant in the group and is always encouraging everyone that things don’t have to be perfect, still, getting this intentional living thing right was truly paralyzing to some of these women even with the perfect set of gel pens and planner stickers (yes, these are a thing!).

I’ve been there – so afraid of going in the wrong direction I stayed rooted to the spot.  So afraid of messing up my beautiful goal planner that I was afraid to write the wrong thing. Even though that is what it is for. 

That’s why, this year, I’m going to be intentional about not being perfect. Yep, imperfection is a goal of mine. It’s why I decided to intentionally give myself January to dream and think and plan. I find most of the pressure I live under is put there by me!

If we want to live intentional lives, we have to get past the paralysis of perfection and step into the messy of actually walking it out. 

5 Minute Fridays – COMFORT

Today is Friday (how did that happen??), and it’s time for 5 Minute Fridays. What is 5 Minute Fridays? I’m so glad you asked! It is when women from all over the globe come together – on Fridays-  and write for 5 minutes on a topic. You can hop over HERE and check it out!


This Friday’s word is COMFORT


I have always had a big imagination. As a writer and a creative, this is a great thing. When you are little and it is the middle of the night, not so much!

As a child, I was so afraid of the dark. I would pray that I wouldn’t wake up until morning. Nothing my parents did or said really helped. We prayed. They told me all the comforting things you say to a child who is afraid of the dark: Jesus is here. He is watching over you. You are safe.

But when I woke up at 2 a.m. with my room swathed in shadows, everything just looked scary. Did that shadow suddenly move? What was that noise? Were those – gulp – footsteps?

I had one comfort during those long, dark nights when there really did seem to be things that went bump in the night: my Granny.

When I was 5 years old, my mom’s mom, my Granny, came to live with us. And suddenly, instead of feeling all alone in the dark, miraculously, I wasn’t.

Those nights when my eyes would pop open, I would lay in my bed for a few minutes, but I never lasted very long. I would slide out of my bed and tiptoe down the hall.

I’d call softly, “Gram?”

She always pull the cover back a bit and answer me with, “Come in here, you.” I would slide into her bed and snuggle up to her warmth. Comforted by her presence, I’d drift back to sleep.

Even though it was the same night and it was just as dark, I wasn’t scared anymore. Because I wasn’t alone.

Of course, I hadn’t been alone all along. My parents, my brother – they had all been just down the hall. But there is something about actually feeling and hearing another person that makes your fears recede.

My grandmother passed away in 2007. She was in her 90s at that point, and in a nursing home due to a fall which fractured her back. Then it was my turn to comfort her. I’d visit her each week to let her know she wasn’t alone.

Of course, she wasn’t. But there is just something about seeing someone in person to drive the loneliness away. Comfort will always bring to my mind, my grandmother who didn’t mind sharing her bed with a small, scared girl.

Blessings, Rosanne

5 Minute Friday – PURPOSE

Today, I’m over at Kate Motaung’s blog Heading Home for 5 Minute Friday. If you’re unfamiliar, this is where women from literally around the world all write about a single word for five unedited minutes. Come on over and check it out HERE.




Finding your purpose -that phrase that is everywhere in Christian circles these days. I think maybe it started back with Rick Warren’s book, A Purpose Driven Life.  There is something magical in believing you have a purpose – not a generic one, but a unique person purpose God especially created you for. I guess we all crave significance and purpose gives that to us at a spiritual level.

Personally, I’ve struggled with the idea of personal purpose. If you asked me to describe myself – the essence of what makes me me- I would probably tell you that I am both a storyteller and a teacher, in that order.

I realize this about myself. I realize that this is who God created me to be and that is my divine calling in many ways. Looking at others who have this purpose, I could even tell you that there is importance in teaching and storytelling. In fact, I’d tell you that the two are intrinsically entwined. As humans, we are wired to crave stories so what better way to teach?

Jesus was a storyteller extraordinaire.

God gave us the Scriptures – the best teaching tool ever, and it just so happens to have a lot of stories in it, too!

And yet, while I can see the good in stories and what they teach us and I can even cite specific examples of stories impacted my own life, I have a hard time ingesting that idea applying to me personally.

So often, my calling and my purpose seem a bit, well, non-essential. I often struggle with a greater purpose to writing children’s stories or even on this blog. I mean, in the grand scheme of things, does it matter if I put a picture book out into the world? Does it matter if I write something on this blog? Is it going to make some eternal difference in the world at large?

It’s so interesting that the word was purpose today, because I just started a new devotional book called I Am: A 60 Day Journey of Knowing Who You are Becaus of Who He Is  by Michele Cushatt. Today, the second day, was “I am formed.” The verse was Ephesians 2:10.

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, so that we would walk in them.

I’ve read this verse a zillion times. In fact, I taught the book of Ephesians in my Sunday school class, so I knew the word workmanship was the Greek word we get poem from and I thought that was cool. But what I somehow missed was that the Greek word for “created” actually means, “designed with a certain ability, capability or capacity.”

As I have really tried to buckle down and be obedient in my calling by scheduling blocks of writing time, that whisper that what I’m doing doesn’t really matter and it isn’t even very spiritual has gotten louder. I’m sure that isn’t a coincidence.

Today, though, this verse hit me square between the eyes and dislodged that whispered lie. God created me – HE designed me with this ability to write and tell stories and teach. He designed me that way for good works. Those things He designed me for ARE good works and He prepared them beforehand so I would walk in them.

Head knowledge became heart knowledge today.

How about you? What thing are your designed for that maybe doesn’t feel special enough or spiritual enough? I’d love to hear about it!