Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Taking something for granted?

Taken for granted: to expect someone or something to be always available to serve in some way without thanks or recognition; to value someone or something too lightly.

In the past week, I've had the pleasure of meeting two separate groups of readers at both the Belmont Mansion, the setting of A Lasting Impression

And the Belle Meade Plantation, the setting of To Whisper Her Name

Both gatherings were such fun. We had a great time together walking through history and seeing where both Adelicia Acklen, and the Harding and Jackson families lived. 

Last Thursday, I met with the men and women of the Belmont Tower Society in the grand salon at Belmont and shared about the home and the woman, Adelicia Acklen, who truly made a lasting impression on me as I wrote (and continue to write) about Belmont's history.

Meeting with the Belmont Tower Society
in Adelicia's grand salon
Reading from Adelicia's personal letters in her home was a special treat for me

Then yesterday at Belle Meade, I had the pleasure of joining nineteen lovely ladies from Hendersonville, TN who had read To Whisper Her Name and who took the To Whisper Her Name tour at Belle Meade. Which begins at the Old Harding Cabin and concludes with the mansion. 

On the front steps of Belle Meade
What fun gals!

Visiting and signing at lunch
at the Harding House restaurant at Belle Meade (delicious!)

Visiting the Old Harding Cabin where Bob Green, 
the head hostler, and Ridley (hero in TWHN) lived

In visiting with these groups, I was reminded of something I'm guilty of having taken for granted recently…

Sometimes in the midst of back-to-back deadlines––when the story and/or the characters are driving me crazy, and the words won't come, or else they come but not in the way I want them to, or when life happens and so many interruptions pull me away from writing, or when I simply lack the discipline (ouch!) of focusing on the task at hand––I lose sight of what a blessing writing really is. 

Yes, it's work. Yes, it's sometimes most times frustrating. And no, it doesn't come easily. But really, what job does?

There are moments, like in recent days, when I'm reminded of what a blessing it is to get to write stories that are published and then read by others. Then, as if that wasn't enough, I get to meet these dear readers, share our lives and our faith in the Lord, and discuss these journeys inspired by history, by real people who lived. And then to discover that you embrace these characters and love them like I do is…well, a blessing beyond words.

A blessing that I take for granted all too often, one of the greatest blessings of writing…is connecting with you, the reader, and hearing your stories. Hearing about God's faithfulness in your experiences and encouraging each other in this life. Thank you for sharing so freely!

What in your life do you appreciate and yet sometimes take for granted? A career you love but that might drive you crazy on occasion? People you adore but who sometimes try your patience? An answer to prayer that you thought was the answer you wanted, but now you're not so sure? 

Even as I type those questions, I'm thinking of the families of the victims of the tornado in Oklahoma yesterday. And especially the parents of those precious, precious children. Let's keep them close in prayer, friends.

What is it that you need to be more grateful for today? I'm making my list. What's on yours?


A few more pics…

With June at the Old Harding Cabin

With Susan Jacobson at the Old Harding Cabin

Signing books at lunch

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