This cake is what greeted Dennis when he walked into the Sports Awards meeting at Challenger Early College High School. Over the past eleven years, he's been the student services provider, counselor, men's varsity basketball, tennis, and baseball coach, plus director of the Firebird Choral, bus driver, substitute teacher, and probably several other jobs. Being a Firebird (and a Shawnee Heights Thunderbird,) has been a joy over the past almost 40 years, and allowed him to fulfill his calling to influence and help his students become the best they could be. (By the way, one of his SH Choraliers is in the top ELEVEN on The Voice right now, Kyla Jade! He's one proud vocal music teacher.)
Thanks for letting me brag on my husband. It's because he has loved and been a success at his teaching job, that I have been able to pursue my dream of writing.
We aren't calling it retirement, though. July 1 begins our "Refirement!"
And so the fun begins.
For the 6th time in our almost 44 years of marriage, Dennis and I are packing up our home and moving. This time it's to establish a new ministry in our "refirement." Dennis designed this logo for Macs MountainView Ministries, combining the new with the old. We don't want to forget where we've come from, and all God has already done for us, even as we move on.
It's the 3rd move where storage units have been involved. I'm grateful for them, but since I don't know how long it will be before we have another home to set up, (we will start out in our 29 ft. camper...) it may be a while before I see my stuff again. But it's exactly that. Stuff. I am determined to give away, donate, and toss things every day as I pack. Some things that I am pretty fond of, like my books, are harder to put away in a box for an undetermined amount of time. But I have already received my new county library card, so will make good use of my new library's resources until I get my books back out on my shelves. Of course, a former library director turned writer, will always make good use of the library!
As always, God gives me what I need, exactly when I need it, to keep moving on, in spite of weariness and even a slight feeling of being overwhelmed by all there is to do before deadline day, July 1. Besides packing and moving, I have a book to finish writing. Earlier this week, in a regular daily devotion that I read, I found the encouragement I needed. This is an excerpt from a "Sparkling Gem" from Rick Renner:
"Time is a precious gift and opportunities for the Kingdom are open doors provided by God Himself. Therefore, if God has given you a space of time when you can freely work without hindrance, embrace it as a God-given gift, and fervently seek to fulfill what He's called you to do. If it will enable you to make a difference in someone else's life, give yourself enthusiastically and passionately to the task that lies before you."
Rick always adds a prayer at the end of his devotions. I made this one personal: Father, wherever we reside, we are on a mission field. You have given us many opportunities to make You known through our words, books and songs --- the work of our hands. Thank you for the associations You have brought across our path to help us accomplish our calling. Holy Spirit, make us sensitive to others' needs and obey You quickly when You prompt us to release Your love into their lives. We are compelled to work and fulfill our new assignments before the window of time closes.
No matter where God has planted you, or is in the process of moving you, lean on His love and trust His plan for your life. Then take the next step He shows you, and move on.
The past week National Siblings Day was celebrated. Found this picture on my brother's fridge and wanted to share.
Glad to say that we have been close since these days when we were kids. He married a great lady who has been a dear sister since we were in high school together. Love you both, David and Rhonda Aadalen. And thanks for all the nieces and nephews!
Winners of the Fifth Friday Freebie were Amy Halford from Morganton, NC, and Janet Bayless from Topeka, KS. Thanks for your comments about "I Will Not Fear: A Chosen Life," my second book. This is our testimony book and to know that my sharing our story has touched people's hearts, means more than you know. Amy wins paperback copies of Trinity Tales of Tresia, Books I and II. Congratulations!
I met Amy and her precious family at church. Her kids, Lauren and Garrett, were my first unofficial Youth Advisory Board. They also faithfully attended my monthly church Library Time on Wednesday nights. I watched these two grow up and I know Amy and James are very proud parents and rightfully so! Lauren is now at App State and Garrett is a senior at Freedom High. Amy's husband James is the best Sunday School teacher I ever had, as an adult anyway. This family has always supported me and my writing and I am grateful the Lord crossed our paths.
Janet Bayless is a friend from Shawnee Heights High School in KS. I looked for a photo of us together in an old annual, but although we were in Pep Club and Concert Choir together in 1972, yours truly must have been absent on picture day because I am nowhere to be found. This is one of my fav photos of Janet now. We reconnected on Facebook and I found out she is a wonderful poet. Janet commented on Amy's comment that she also enjoyed the same book, but she had not read Dawn of Day. So Janet wins a paperback copy of the story of my mom's side of the family and their connection to the Underground Railroad in KS. Congrats, Janet, and thanks for commenting!
See, it not only makes a writer feel good to read comments from readers, but sometimes the readers who comment are winners, too!
J.A. McPhail is the author of five books, has been married to Dennis for 43 years, enjoys living near the North Carolina mountains. and is an avid collector of books and book related stuff.