I earnestly desire that people who read my writing will be encouraged. Based on feedback from readers, God has indeed graciously allowed me to communicate hope and life to others. And yet, I am such a mess! I am humbled that God uses “weak vessels” like me. What a privilege!

While I have always desired that God use me somehow to encourage and strengthen others, I had no idea when I began this writing adventure how greatly He would use others to encourage me in return.

Last week, at the invitation of Pat Henson, Activities Director at Traceway Retirement Community in Tupelo, Mississippi, I spoke to a gathering of senior adults about my writing. On the drive to Tupelo, I began to second-guess the wisdom of accepting Pat’s invitation:  Who was I, to think I had anything valuable to share with a group of people who were older and wiser than myself?! I shouldn’t presume to speak to these people:  on the contrary, I should be listening, gleaning from their much greater wealth of life experience!

I walked into the event feeling like a shame-faced, foolish upstart.

But then…


These sweet people welcomed me so warmly, pulled me right into the loving embrace of their community. I arrived wanting to encourage them, but instead, they encouraged me.  Their questions and comments, their enthusiasm, the pieces of their own stories that they shared with me that afternoon – these women and men filled my heart to overflowing.

I have often commented that book events are rather like blind dates:  I never know who will show up, or if the time together will be painful or sweet.

The event at Traceway last week – it was rather like showing up for a blind date, and then finding that sitting across from me at the table was my Best Beloved.

God is so good! His love is so sweet!

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