Plot Twists and Adventures

Plot Twists and Adventures by Mary L. Hamilton

When the unexpected happens in a story, we call it a plot twist. In life, it’s

Plot Twists and Adventures

Plot Twists and Adventures

sometimes called an adventure.

My husband’s retirement meant a chance to move from the big city to a smaller town, with a lake to satisfy me, and a university to satisfy him. But initially, our move wasn’t the sort of adventure I’d envisioned.

Thinking it wise to rent until we decided what part of town we wanted to buy into, we arrived at our temporary quarters on a cold January day. Mind you, this was Texas, not North Dakota, but it was still cold to us! And there was no heat in the house, thanks to a mix-up with the utility company. Thankfully, we found a hotel for the night that accepted us, and our 80-lb. dog.

The next day, the movers unloaded all our furniture and boxes, the heat came on, and that night we climbed into bed—only to hear the storm siren go off. Did they really use the storm sirens for a hard freeze? It turned out to be a malfunction.

Apparently, the house hadn’t been occupied for a year or more. Built in the 1960’s, it also hadn’t seen any updates, recent or otherwise. The single pane windows leaked cold air in drafty waves, and rattled whenever the jet propulsion company, located over ten miles away, tested their rocket engines. The dining room floor sloped toward the back yard, thanks to a cracked foundation. One of the toilets leaked. And there were no three-prong outlets in the house, forcing us to go out and buy adapters for all our electronics. We also couldn’t figure out why we had hot showers, but no hot water in the kitchen—until we discovered a second water heater, which soon needed to be replaced.

With no gas hookup for our clothes dryer, we had to buy an electric model. It was delivered a week after we moved in, and I could finally wash our clothes. But of course, the drain was plugged, resulting in flooded floors in three rooms.

Then the furnace quit…twice. My husband and I still laugh about crawling into bed under four layers of blankets wearing long underwear, wool socks and ski hats. The electric heating pad helped, too.

Since we weren’t planning to stay in the house for long, we unpacked only the things we used on a daily basis. But when my daughter visited and asked me to help her sew up a hem, I couldn’t even find my needle and thread!

More than once in the seven months we lived in that house, I became overwhelmed and frustrated. But most of the time, I laughed it off and reminded myself this was an adventure.

I wish I could say I always keep that kind of attitude when things go wrong. Too often, I develop a short fuse and vent my anger and frustration. But I think I’ve found a way to hold onto that perspective. In John 9, when asked about the cause of a man’s blindness (surely a reason for frustration and despair), Jesus answered, “…this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.”

What if I look at the things that go wrong in life and see them as an opportunity for the work of God to be displayed in my life? Now that sounds like an adventure!

Mary L. Hamilton

Mary L. Hamilton

 

Bio: Mary L. Hamilton grew up at a youth camp in Wisconsin, much

See No Evil

See No Evil

like the setting for her Rustic Knoll Bible Camp series. Her experiences during twenty years of living at the camp, as well as people she knew there, inspired many of the events and situations in her novels. Mary is currently working on a women’s mystery/suspense. When not writing, she enjoys a little amateur photography, knitting, reading, and spending time with her family. Mary and her husband live in Texas.

www.maryhamiltonbooks.com

www.facebook.com/maryhamiltonbooks

 

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Lena Nelson Dooley Show

Lena Nelson Dooley Show

Especially for You: Unexpected Blessings from God by Lena Nelson Dooley

My latest novel, A Heart’s Gift, became a finalist in the Faith, Hope, and Love Readers Choice Award in the Long Historical category. I had entered that contest, formerly the Inspirational Christian Readers Choice award, several times, but I never finaled before. I praised the Lord for giving me this special gift. Anytime I win an award, I know it comes from Him. I didn’t expect to win, because the other two books finalists were from Bethany Publishing. Most Christian fiction writers want to be published by Bethany. And my book is an agent-assisted independently published book.

I knew the week of the Romance Writers of America national conference would be in late July. I didn’t check to see what days. I guess I assumed it would be like the American Christian Fiction Writers conference, Thursday through Sunday.

On Thursday morning of that week, I received a call from the contest coordinator. When I heard who it was, I had the quick thought. She must need to ask me a question.

Then she said, “I don’t know if you’ve heard about the winners from last night.”

I felt like a bell went off in my head and this thought chased it. They don’t call the losers.

Quickly, I asked her, “You’re not calling me to tell me I won, are you?

She assured me she was, and I burst out crying. The rest of that day, I was either laughing or crying. Another very special blessing from God.

We’ve put both the print edition and the Kindle edition of the book on a special sale until September 1.

http://ow.ly/pxLp30eplnp

Have you ever had something extra special happen to you unexpectedly? Please tell us about it.

 

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caption 3

By Dianne Barker

I love a picnic! I approach most days with the same excitement and expectation, as if loading my picnic basket for a fun adventure. Before the day’s over, I’ve encountered a disaster…or several. The washer floods our basement. A hit-and-run driver bumps my parked car. Stuff to deal with. Read More →

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You’re Never Alone  by Vickie McDonough 

You're Not Alone

You’re Not Alone

Before I became a published author, if I got the chance to meet one of my favorite authors face-to-face, I would literally shake. It happened more than once. I can’t tell you why. What I’ve learned—and should have known all along—is that authors are just regular people. Yes, we worked hard and may be more creative than someone else, but we’re normal folk. Surprise

My husband and I raised four sons, and are now enjoying a granddaughter. My life didn’t change much after getting published, except that I worked longer hours than I’d ever worked before and I had a little extra income, which was really nice.

Now, I’m primary caregiver for my mother, who is 87. There are days I honestly don’t want to go visit her. She can be very sweet and loving, but also quite cranky and mean. Lately, she’s been in a nursing home, recovering from a fall.

I’ll admit I’m not the most patient and compassionate person around. I’ve come to have great respect for the nurses and aides at the nursing home who empty bed pans, listen to whiny, forgetful seniors all day—or night—and have to be on their feet twelve hours at a time.

My husband has been unemployed for four months, so finances are getting tight. The other day I cried as I drove home from the dentist’s office because I didn’t have the money to pay them. Then I started feeling guilty. Yes, money is tight, but we’ve never gone hungry, we still have a nice home, and a car to drive. My mother is still here while many have lost theirs. I thought of those who don’t know where their next meal is coming from and how they will feed their children.

Life just isn’t fair at times. But who told you it would be? God never said we wouldn’t have difficult times, but He did promise to be there to help us through them. That reminds me of the Footsteps in the Sand poem by Mary Stevenson. The poem talks about a dream where the author is walking on the beach. During hard times, she only sees one pair of footprints in the sand, but at good times, there are two sets. She asks God why He wasn’t with her during the difficult times, and He said: “Those are the times I carried you.” Wow! Just imagine God holding you in the hard times.

I want to encourage you that you’re not alone. Yes, life is not fair. But we don’t have to walk it all alone. Most of us have friends and family who will help, but ALL of us can have God’s comfort and help. We just need to ask—and believe, especially when we don’t see Him.

Vickie McDonough

Vickie McDonough

Long Trail Home

Long Trail Home

Bestselling author Vickie McDonough grew up wanting to marry a rancher, but instead, she married a computer geek who is scared of horses. She now lives out her dreams penning Christian romance stories about ranchers, cowboys, lawmen, and others living in the Old West. Vickie is a CBA/EPCA/Amazon best-selling author of more than 40 published books and novellas, with over 1.5 million copies sold. Vickie has been married for forty-one years to Robert. They have four grown sons, one daughter-in-law, and a precocious granddaughter.

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Photo of God's creative sunset

The Sky Speaks By Crystal Bowman

Crystal Bowman

Crystal Bowman

When I was growing up in West Michigan, summer was my favorite season of the year. I was never a fan of cold weather, and in Michigan we’d get a lot of that! I loved the warm summer days when I could play outdoors with my neighborhood friends, running through the sprinklers and eating popsicles. Read More →

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