Our sweet Sophie Grace is 9 months old, 18 pounds and been part of our family for 7 months. She is a complete joy. Her tail wags constantly when she's awake, beginning with her first greeting of the morning when she runs and gets a toy to share with us. She keeps me company while I write, watching over my shelves of books and inspiring me (also making sure I get out for walks!). We can't imagine our lives without her. Sophie loved hosting our grand-dog, Emmie, while her mom and dad finally got to go on their honeymoon.
Look at that winning smile on this beautiful little girl, Reina. Reina and I have never met but her mother reached out to me on Facebook to share that her daughter, now 5 and who has had some challenges with learning delay, recently read her very first book and is now reading at first grade level. The book? What About Heaven? one of my early books that recently went out of print. I'm so humbled and honored that the first book she read was one that I wrote. Reina's Grandma found a used copy at a Goodwill shop and bought it for her granddaughter. It's wonderful how God's word finds its way into the hands of children in so many ways. I had been feeling a bit down at the declining number of children's books I've published in the last few years along with the number of books that have gone out of print, but this unexpected gift lifted my spirits. It filled my heart with joy to know that books first published over 20 years ago and now no longer available are finding their way into the hands of children who love them. if you are interested in getting What About Heaven? for a little one in your life I do have a few copies available as part of Easter Stories and Prayers (four books in one).
And now for more good news. . .
COVER REVEAL for my next book, available in May 2023: Since the Baby Came, published by Waterbrook & Multnomah, a division of Penguin Random House Books. More info to come in my next newsletter! You can pre-order now on Amazon.
CURRENT ONLINE BOOK SALE EXTENDED UNTIL NOVEMBER 25
20% Off All Signed Editions - Just In Time For Christmas!
On October 16, 1993, I stood before my home church congregation, First Presbyterian Church of San Pedro, and took my vows of ordination to the ministry of Word and Sacrament. It was one of the holiest moments of my life and I will never forget all the people who came for the service on a weeknight. I was such an unlikely candidate for ministry. I did not grow up in church. I was (and am) an extreme introvert, terrified of speaking before a group of people. Ministry was such an unlikely calling that I knew it came from God as it was not a vocation I would have chosen for myself. I have done my best to be faithful to that calling. I love(d) being a pastor of several incredible churches. I am blessed by sharing ministry with my husband, Greg, who continues to serve a congregation. I now work full-time as a writer, and that is my extended calling, but I will always have the heart of a pastor. My congregation is now my readers, but also the people I've served and loved throughout my 39 years of ordination. I often think of Elizabeth's proclamation to Mary: "You are, among women, most richly blessed" (Luke 1:42). I feel, among women, most richly blessed.
On the back of this photo I wrote: Present and future clergy! Randy Branson, in the robe and stole, is the pastor who suggested I go to Princeton Theological seminary to study Christian Education. Randy's belief in me changed my life. Carl Jacobson, new pastor to youth, in the tie. He was also very supportive of me during my seminary years, as were so many in my home church. I was the first person in their 150+ year history to attend seminary and become ordained. I still keep in touch Randy, and also with one of my high-school youth advisors, now nearly 93 years old.
One of my first sermons as a seminary student, preached at First Presbyterian Church, San Pedro, CA.
In my next Kathy's Musings, coming in mid-November, I'll share good news about two upcoming new books, plus an update on Sophie Grace who will then be 9 months old.