“What did she use this time?” The kind man who cleans my white carpets squats down to inspect the splashed rainbow.

“Acrylic and oils.” I show him the finished masterpiece displayed on the easel above the carpet’s danger zone.

He nods appreciatively, and from his arsenal of stain removers, sprays over the area what I assume to be an anti-acrylic and an oil neutralizing solution.

“You must see this kind of cleanup project a lot in your business.” I think of the dropped plate of spaghetti he cleaned last time he was here.

“Not like this.” He gives the fading spot a thorough scrub. “Backed up toilets, pet stains, and shoes that should have been left at the door.”

I nod because he has cleaned all those at my house, too. And I remember when my young daughter showed me her painting. Her face had been alight with the artistic freedom that comes when her hands have translated her heart to canvas. Just as much paint lay on the carpet below and as she followed my gaze, she was incredulous.

“Sorry, Mom, I didn’t see that.”

Of course not. Nor did she remember to use a drop cloth the three times before. Which is how I have gotten to know the carpet cleaning guy well enough that he took one of our kittens home to his family.

Home is the art studio for life. And like all art studios, they are creatively messy, reflecting developing people, talents, and relationships. There is a tension between keeping a tidy house and using the living areas for – well – living.

The mother of Orville and Wilbur Wright commonly directed family and guests to eat meals in the living room since the dining room table was spread with the brothers’ latest invention. Because Mrs. Wright designated space for her children to test ideas, Orville and Wilbur turned the possibility of flight into reality. That mother’s legacy outlives her for all of history because she gave wings to her sons long before they learned how to fly.       

Our Creator, God surrounds us with opportunity to create beauty. By extending to one another big and small acts of kindness, respect, and thoughtfulness on a consistent basis during good times and challenging days, people form relationship glue, those touch points that hold us together despite crisis and through celebrations. Those connections, poignant moments, and laughing-until-milk-comes-out-our-nose form a shared history and confirm that we belong. Together.

We are most like God when we create and forgive. When we paint with abundantly broad strokes of grace and love, we form relationship glue.

PeggySue Wells

PeggySue Wells

PeggySue Wells is the bestselling author of 29 books including Homeless for the Holidays, The Girl Who Wore Freedom, and Chasing Sunrise. Watch for her newest book, Ten Best Decisions A Single Mom Can Make with Pam Farrel, releasing in September. Connect with PeggySue at www.PeggySueWells.com.

 

 

 

 

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Sarah Sundin

Sarah Sundin

Greetings from Sarah Sundin! Today I have the joy of interviewing historical novelist Vickie McDonough, who is a bestselling author of more than fifty (!) novels and novellas! Vickie is also a long-time member of CAN, and you’ll enjoy what she has to share.

Welcome, Vickie! Please tell us about your book The Anonymous Bride.

1 Marshal. 3 Brides—no, make that 4.

A marshal confides to friends that he’d marry if he met the right woman. Soon, three mail-order brides arrive, each expecting to marry Luke Davis–but he didn’t order a bride. A friendly contest ensues to determine which gal is the best choice, but besides the three entries Luke expects, there’s a fourth—an anonymous entry.

Vickie McDonough

Vickie McDonough

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The Land Beneath Us

by Sarah Sundin

Publisher: Revell

Release date: February 4th, 2020

ISBN-13: 978-0800727994

About the book:

With his future stolen by his brothers’ betrayal, Clay Paxton trains hard with the US Army Rangers, while Leah Jones works as a librarian at the army base, hoping to find her lost sisters. A marriage of convenience binds them, but will D-day—and a foreboding dream—tear them apart?

 

About the author: 

Sarah Sundin is a bestselling author of World War II novels, including The Land Beneath Us, The Sky Above Us, and The Sea Before Us. Her novel The Sea Before Us received the 2019 FHL Reader’s Choice Award. A mother of three adult children, Sarah lives in California. www.sarahsundin.com.

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Our winter season in Michigan has been mild. No subzero temps or newsworthy blizzards to report. I am grateful for that.

But the heavy, gray clouds that linger for days and even weeks, make me feel like I am trapped in a colorless dome.

Last week we flew to Texas to visit my daughter’s family. Shortly after takeoff, the plane penetrated the thick mass and ushered us into an atmosphere of endless blue sky and brilliant sunshine. It was a mood-altering moment that brought joy to my soul.

Most of us face difficult circumstances now and then. The weight of our problems can make us feel like we are engulfed in a heavy, dark cloud. But when we give our concerns to Jesus and trust him to guide us through our struggles, he will usher us into his light.

Jesus is the light of the world. When we follow him, he will remove the darkness and restore our joy. No matter how heavy your problems are today, remember there is blue sky above the clouds.

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life”  John 8:12 (NIV).

Crystal Bowman

Crystal Bowman

Crystal Bowman is an award winning, best-selling author of more than 100 books for children. Her non-fiction books include Mothers in Waiting—Healing and Hope for Those with Empty Arms. She is a speaker for MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) and teaches at writers’ conferences. She is a monthly contributor to Clubhouse Jr. Magazine and writes lyrics for children’s piano music.

(Photo by Thomas Urquhart on Unsplash)

 

 

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Sandra Glahn

While I’ve often written for medical publications—both fiction and non—I am not myself a physician. But I’ve been on the receiving end of more than my share of surgeries and treatments, so I can definitely write from the patient’s perspective. When I wrote non-fiction medical information for the trade market, my editors usually viewed my “lack of knowledge” as a benefit. My ignorance meant I naturally said “miscarriage” instead of “spontaneous abortion” and  “bruise” instead of “contusion.”

But when I decided to branch into fiction to explore complex medical issues (Lethal Harvest; Deadly Cure; False Positive), I knew I had gaps in my knowledge that only years in med school, the exam room, and the surgical suite could make up for. So I partnered with an obstetrical-gynecologist. My last novel, Lethal Harvest,was a solo work of medical suspense, but he still edited it for medical accuracy.

One of the good doctor’s “catches” was my lack of knowledge about sterile surfaces. In one scene I had described a gloved-up physician, upon receiving shocking news, grasping the surgical table. But my actual-surgeon reader said, “No way. You just risked infecting the patient.”

But the doctor’s far more memorable catch was actually a typo. I meant to have my main-character physician, who was sitting in his research area, ask his assistant to bring him a glass of H2O. But I accidentally wrote H2O as HO2—hydroperoxyl radical, also known as the perhydroxyl radical. The margin note I received in response was simply this: “Congratulations. You just blew up the lab.”

 

Glahn photo

Sandra Glahn

Dr. Sandra Glahn is the author or coauthor of more than twenty books, including four medical suspense novels that explore ethical and theological complexities. Lethal Harvest, now in its second edition, was a Christy Award finalist.

 

 

Informed Consent

Informed Consent

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