Joe and I are back from homecoming weekend at Harding University
(our alma mater) and we had a wonderful time, and some great couple time together. I came home fairly "spent" after several speaking events and booksignings but it was a good kind of tired. I had no clue that author and friend Christine Lynxwiler (pictured right) was going to be there too (she's an Arkansas gal), so visiting with her was an added bonus!
After speaking Thursday evening during a massive storm with tornado warnings (bless you brave souls who ventured out--I really enjoyed our time together, especially the Q&A and follow up), I met with students and faculty of the English department on Friday morning, then with a book club later that afternoon. These book club women are wild! And such fun.
When I heard the laughter coming down the hallway, I knew I was in for a fabulous time! Thanks, ladies, for making me part of your group! Wish I could meet with you each month.
The "wild and wonderful" women of Harding
Cindy Payne and me (Cindy's father, Jimmy Allen, was a favorite professor of mine while at HU. Cindy, loved our visit!)
As soon as we walked into the student center Thursday evening, guess who we saw! Brianna who we went to church with in Greeley, Colorado. Homecoming weekend was full of those "Oh hey, I know you!" moments and they were great.
It was also one of those times when God gives you perspective.Countless times I was asked why I majored in business instead of journalism, and why I wasted all those years working in business when I could have been writing. Long story short, I answered because I couldn't have written the stories I write without having lived some first. Which is true. But it's also because God, in His perfect timing, hadn't brought me to this place in my life yet.
Ecclesiastes 11:5 says,
"Just as you cannot understand the path of the wind or the mystery of a tiny baby growing in its mother's womb, so you cannot understand the activity of God, who does all things."
God's ways--how He moves us in and out of each other's lives--is a mystery. Yet we know He never wastes anything. All the years I spent coordinating corporate conferences, working in banking and in academia, all those years spent raising children and being a wife and mother, in leading women's ministries...God is using all of those experiences to shape my characters and stories. And I wouldn't change a thing.
I'm grateful for all the people in my past (and present) who challenge and encourage me to follow God's lead, no matter where that takes me. As I say often when speaking, "There's nothing better than being centered in the middle of God's will for your life--whatever that means--and nothing more miserable than being outside of it."
One more verse that applies to me in a big way this morning is the verse right before the one above:
"Farmers who wait for perfect weather never plant.
If they watch every cloud, they never harvest."
In the margin of my Bible, I have written: Same for my writing! So get to work!
If you're reading these words today, I'm praying for you. Praying you'll accomplish what the Lord has placed on your agenda today (whether it's on yours yet or not), and that He who does all thingswill give you perspective and encouragement in your journey. (Me and my husband, Joe, pictured above.)