Changing Seasons

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven…” – Ecclesiastes 3:1 (ESV)

If you’ve ever lived in a part of the world where there aren’t four seasons, you may have a different appreciation for the change of seasons than those who have walked through life with spring, summer, autumn and winter as perennial companions. Some parts of the world have two seasons – the muddy season and the dusty season. While these places have their own unique (and appreciated) beauties, some people may miss the gentle falling snow that melts into flower beds that are warmed by summer sun and covered by crunchy, color-coated leaves.

The seasons not only add beauty and variety to our lives but also remind us that life has seasons.

Sometimes we step into a new life season smiling. Other times we drag our feet and hold onto the vestiges of yesterday like an oak tree keeping its leaves while all the other trees let theirs fly.

I’m doing a little of both right now. However, the truth remains:

There is a season for posting to one’s blog routinely, and there is a season for rearranging goals to make room for new things.

I think I need to transition into that rearranging season, so I may be posting a couple of times a month in this new season instead of every week. It’s not that I lost my love for sharing ideas or have run out of ideas. I especially still love getting good notes from readers. Beyond that, the thought of missing a week after (I think) 83 consecutive weeks is rather deflating. But life is fuller with other things these days. I hope you’ll still keep up with “A Storyful Life” in this new season. Who knows? Maybe I’ll surprise myself and get a post up most weeks anyway. 🙂

Labor of Love

A year ago, I met one of my favorite authors. The evening involved driving in rain so torrential I prayed a good part of the way home. However, it also involved showers of blessings.

Me and one of my favorite authors, Robin Jones Gunn

Me and one of my favorite authors,                       Robin Jones Gunn

For a story-loving heart, what could be better than stories of how God is using stories to change lives and – we hope and pray – those lives to change communities and those communities to change nations? The evening also included shared time with a special friend, international yummies, and, yes, oh, yes, a sweet little conversation with that favorite author of mine.

Now today I’m preparing a little note to post in the mail to that author. When it reaches her after a journey of thousands of miles, I hope she gets a smile on her face and a little glimmer of a reward for her labor of love.

Labor of love. Something I’ve learned from my Christian writer friends is that what they do is a labor of love. Love for words. Love for their characters. And even more, love for Christ and His truth and love for the millions of readers out there who need a little love. 

These loves fuel these writers through the sleep-short days, the pouring out of themselves on paper that may sit on an acquisitions editor’s desk for months, the reading for work not pleasure, the struggling for just the right word, the cutting out of the beloved scenes that don’t serve the story, the researching for accuracy, the aching of rejection, the perusing of contracts, the downsides of success, the handling of budgets. 

Yes, all of this – all of this for love. 

In a glass-dimly way this may reflect for us the love that God showed His children by sending His Son Jesus to earth and that He continues to show us each and every day.

What wondrous love is this, O my soul, O my soul!

What wondrous love is this, O my soul!

What wondrous love is this that caused the Lord of bliss

to bear the dreadful curse for my soul, for my soul,

to bear the dreadful curse for my soul?

~”What Wondrous Love Is This?” (Anonymous)

Apparently, National Author Day (US) isn’t until November 1, but considering what authors go through to craft the stories we enjoy, why not take a few minutes this weekend and send a snail-mail note, email or Facebook message to one of your favorite authors. Thank them for their work and let them know what you love about their stories. Maybe your encouragement will lead to a whole new tale…

If you would like to learn about the work of Media Associates International and how you can help train writers around the world to share God’s love and truth, visit their website



I Love to Tell the Story

Twenty-Four Roses

This weekend I am getting to share in a very special anniversary celebration complete with twenty-four roses.

Twenty-three of the roses represent twenty-three years since a very special day and the work of God we have witnessed during that time.  It’s definitely one of those Psalm 118:23 moments.

This is the LORD’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.      (Psalms 118:23, ESV)

The twenty-fourth rose represents hopes and prayers for the future as we watch God’s story continue unfolding like the petals of a rosebud. 

I am also celebrating a much smaller anniversary this weekend – my first year of blogging on “A Storyful Life” is now complete! It’s been a sweet year of pouring words and bits of my life into now 53 posts. What a lot has happened in the days since my frist post called “Endings“! Know that I’m thankful for each one of you who has shared this adventure with me, and I’m looking forward to another year full of stories, letters, poems and interesting characters!

Made New

Ever wonder where your favorite story was written? Tolkien used his stately desk, Laura Ingalls Wilder enjoyed her farmhouse nook and Robin Jones Gunn loves her Hawaiian nest. And me? Well, I wouldn’t claim to stand amongst writers like them, but I can still show you the corner of the world where I often pen letters, jot journal entries or scribble story plots.

First I have to share its story. A writing cabinet with three shelves, a cupboard, a mirror and a fold-down desk stood in my (living) Grandma’s childhood home and later served one of her sisters. It was well used and loved like many pieces that saw the Great Depression. This past fall, it was given to me. The glass door was long gone, but the mirror was still there. I especially loved the cubbies above the desk! After spending a few days hearing tales about the world this cabinet watched, I knew I wanted to do something special with it. However, before anything else, it needed some work.

My family pitched in to refresh this heirloom piece. Cleaning, shellacking, sanding, painting, repairing…It took a fair amount of TLC. Was all the work worth it? See for yourself!

Ready for a makeover

Ready for a makeover



A close-up of the cubbies

A close-up of the cubbies

Pretty darling, isn’t it? The brown paint represents the hard work of past generations who put down roots. The green represents growth and new life. I like to think this cabinet got a fresh start. In some ways, it’s like it’s a whole new creation.

It makes me think of what God does for His children. He makes us new. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17, ESV). It’s like He gets out His brushes, paints, sandpaper and cleaning cloths and gives a cobwebby, musty, chipped, scratched heart a makeover. Sure, there will still be some rough edges or the paint will need a touch up, but where it counts the Master Carpenter gives His workmanship a fresh start.

That’s a theme that rambles through my head when I come to my little writing desk.

“Finish, then, thy new creation;                                                                                                                                  Pure and spotless let us be.                                                                                                                                            Let us see thy great salvation                                                                                                                              Perfectly restored in thee;                                                                                                                                    Changed from glory into glory,                                                                                                                                      Till in heav’n we take our place,                                                                                                                                      Till we cast our crowns before thee,                                                                                                                         Lost in wonder, love and praise.”

~”Love Divine, All Loves Excelling” by Charles Welsey (Trinity Hymnal, #460)


My Grandma who went to heaven earlier this year told me that there was a cabinet nearly identical to this one in her childhood home as well. Her minister father kept his sermons organized on the shelves. You can imagine the “made new” cabinet is even dearer to me now.