A Nudge From God?

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Oh how I wish God’s message was clearer.

We put our house on the market last fall. For me, 9 1/2 months is a long time. Our three previous houses (we moved a lot) sold in less than three months.

This cute little 4-bed/2-bath bungalow is 15 years old, in a perfect location for anyone who works downtown and doesn’t want to pay for expensive parking. Walking distance to grocery store, pharmacy, novelty shop, two gyms, and three schools. Nicely tucked away behind the main street means you’re not in a high traffic area.

Wheelchair accessible, it has wide doors and hallway. A Dr. had it built for his mom who had mobility issues. This house can be used as an income property. The only thing missing downstairs is a kitchen. The craft/hobby room can easily be converted.

While it is priced to sell and we’ve had a lot of great feedback from prospect buyers, we only received one offer.  What’s the problem?

The apartments.

Behind our backyard are three 3-storey apartment buildings. Most who looked at our house see that as a lack of privacy. What they don’t know is how quiet it is in this neighbourhood. The apartments owners are strict about noise levels. There are never any parties or rowdiness.

I was ecstatic when the first offer came two weeks ago. We were told they were pre-approved, so we started packing and sold items we don’t use anymore. We put a conditional offer on one we’d absolutely loved. It was accepted.

Then things fell apart.

Our agent called to say our buyer had to pull out of the deal. Talk about disappointment.

In the same breath, he said the one we’d put an offer on sold when the owner received a straight offer and accepted it.  

Now what? One room is full of boxes. We have to move them to the storage room in the basement to make the house presentable when the next showing request comes. 

We prayed about it and decided if not sold by June 30, it’s going off the market. Not knowing where God is leading us with this, we lay our fleece down (read Judges 6 if you’re not sure what that means), and pray it sells by the end of the month. The disappointment has worn off (mostly) and we’ve accepted that maybe God is saying now’s not the time to move. Hubby and I want to retire closer to the country, but if God says stay who are we to argue? Yet…

Today, after telling a few people we’re taking it off the market in two weeks, our agent called to say the one we wanted to buy is back on the market.

It feels good knowing we can put another offer on it, conditional on the sale of ours.

Is God saying be patient? Is He saying I’ll bring the buyer in My time, not yours, which may not necessarily be by June 30? Oh how I wish His message was clearer.

Time will tell.

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Thursday’s Quote

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“Beware when the great God lets loose a thinker on this planet.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

I see myself as a thinker (I ponder and ask why about everything… my youngest often thanks me for passing it down). I also see myself as a writer. It’s become the joy of my heart. Now that my editor and I are working on my third novel, the first line for my next one has been screaming at me to start a new story for well over a week.

To stay with the above quote by Emerson, I want to answer the following question:

“Why do I write?” 

Because God put me on this earth, and gave me that desire. Although I’ve penned numerous poems and short stories since I was a child, I never took writing seriously until 2009. It was one of those ah ha moments.

Mom was a newspaper reporter. As a teen, I often said that, like her, I’d write someday. Back then, little did I know writing fiction novels of suspense would be the direction I’d follow. To say I like it is a major understatement. I love writing.

“I write because I have a burden in my heart to reach people.” 

Mom often told me that when I was in grade school, I used to come home crying. She’d look me over from head to toe to see where I was hurt. My pain wasn’t visible, however. It was in my heart. Whether it was for the boy who was sick and didn’t make it to school that day, or for the girl who fell and scraped her knee. Things are no different today. Even when I don’t know the reason for their tears, seeing someone cry chokes me up. Especially when it comes to a child (Movie theatre? Give me loads of tissues).

My stories are purely a figment of my imagination. I choose a real life situation, and answer the question,

“What would happen if…”

The suspense and drama I describe in my books isn’t something that necessarily happened to me, but it can ring true to many readers who are going through a similar situation. My hope is to show them how to see the positive in the negative, something I strongly believe in. I want my readers to do the same, to look around and see that in most cases, there’s someone worse off than they are. On days when I’m going through a hard time, regardless of the situation, I like to be able to say,

“Today is going to be a great day, no matter what.” 

While the above may be good reasons, one is much more important to me.

To share the most amazing gift God’s given me. The Love of Jesus. I want to bring my readers closer to Him, by weaving my faith through the pages in a way that I pray will help them understand, and come to faith in Him.

Why do you write? Please share and leave a comment below.

 

Recurring themes

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While some people prefer to write about different topics in each of their stories, others, such as myself, like to have a similar theme, even though the stories are stand alone, and not part of a series. 

That’s what it’s like to do with my novels. There are two recurring themes in all of mine. 

Deafness

Faith (and/or lack thereof)

Unlike my father who loved math and everything else that has to do with numbers, I’ve always loved learning new languages. By the time I graduated from university, I had learned six. I’ve never been fluent in all of them, but I am in three: French (native tongue), English, and ASL. I never had much of a chance to practice Spanish, Biblical Hebrew, or Shona (Zimbabwe dialect) so I lost more of what I’d learned.

I started interpreting in 1994 to a group of deaf people in our church. They became very dear to me, and I learned a great deal from them. It’s one of the many reasons I include them in my stories. As much as I like to educate my readers who are not familiar with the deaf community, I want to dispel the myths surrounding them.

Like the fact that they can’t drive because they can’t hear. Of course they can drive. I’m guilty of thinking such a thing. I remember asking one deaf man to excuse my ignorance but how could he drive if he couldn’t hear the sirens of emergency vehicles. His reply came with a big warm smile, “I can’t hear, but I can see them.” It was one of the first lessons I ever learned. Many more were to come. 

Each of my novels include at least one or two deaf characters and an interpreter. They are people for whom I have the utmost respect. Using our hands to be the ears for those people is not always an easy job, but it’s quite rewarding.  

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The other recurring theme in my stories is that of faith. At least one character has none, or has walked away from their Maker. Someone attempts to lead them to or back. Whether or not they return, that’s for me to know and you to find out in my novels. 

Why do I write about God, faith, and eternal salvation? Because I believe it in. It’s my way–my hope–to reach the lost for the cause of Jesus Christ. We all have hard times and troubles at some point in our lives. What we all need to know, though, is that we’re never alone. God is with us every step of the way. Whether we believe in Him or not, He’s there. All we need to do, specially when we’re down, is look up, open our heart to Him, and welcome Him.

There’s one more thing I like to do. The title of the first three are similar and one of the main characters’ name in each one begins with the next letter of the alphabet. Stella’s Plea, (Alexis), Emma’s Prayer (Braden), Charlie’s Plight (Charlie). 

Do you use recurring themes in your stories. Why or why not? Leave a comment below.