Friday, September 30, 2011


This picture is the first framed art my husband and I purchased when we were newlyweds. We wanted to furnish our home with meaningful art. Money was tight and our purchases must have some significance. This painting seemed appropriate to start out our life – with thankfulness. The Bible tells us to be thankful in every circumstance, even the negative ones. That may be hard to do at times, but even in difficult times, there is always something to be thankful for, something beneficial to us down the road.

Today I was shopping in a retail fabric store that stocks craft supplies and home decor. I wanted some new for Thanksgiving things and didn’t want to wait until everything was gone. I found an aisle for each upcoming holiday; Halloween, Welcome Autumn, Happy Harvest, and Christmas, but no Thanksgiving items. Walking through the displays, I couldn’t find a single item—no pilgrims, no turkeys, nothing in reference to our great American day of Thanksgiving. My heart felt heavy…sad.

Could this really be happening? I spoke to a clerk who told me that “Happy Harvest” was far more “graceful.” I just stared at her in disbelief. Graceful? I assume she meant inoffensive. How very sad that some are becoming offended at the thought of “thankfulness” and celebrating our national holiday with gratitude and gratefulness for all God has given us. I am quite offended at that. I will not shop there again.

In 1918 in the town of Bovey, Minnesota Eric Enstorm took a photo of Charles Wilden sitting at a small table in prayer. As soon as the negative was developed, Enstrom was sure he had something special... a picture that seemed to say, This man doesn't have much of earthly goods, but he has more than most people because he has a thankful heart. Today Enstrom's picture GRACE, is known and loved throughout the world.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Beyond Place...

For some time now, I had watched the old ewe sheep wander closer to the border of the sheepfold, casting her brown eyes on the pasture beyond our highland enclosure. The years had come and gone, and al the lambs she had raised were grown, a long time now. For the most part, she grazed alone. Now and then, I would bring her in from the farthest part of the field, noting the thinning wool, the slight limp, and the curve along her back.

She never complained, though, and caused me little trouble. Winters were hard on her and even in the warm shelter, she cast her eyes beyond… waiting…watching.

One day, she sought out her grown lamb and nestled close, then simply lay down on the grass and was gone. The other sheep gathered around, curious as sheep are. I found her still and quiet. I knew she was gone. Her eyes were still open, fixed on the pasture beyond the enclosure, seeing what we could not see.

I will miss the old ewe. The flock will miss her presence in the morning, when she came quietly from her resting place to nuzzle the young lambs…softly, gentle in her way. The shepherd came and spoke, then we laid her away beneath the earth, near the beyond place where she longed to be.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Lone Sunflower

The time is nearing when we must close Wildrose Cottage for the summer season. Flowers are still blooming in the beds and my herb garden was prolific this year due to an abundant rainfall. Autumn color has not made an appearance, but you can feel it in the air. Winter is waiting, just around the corner. Summer seems tired of itself, ready to return to the earth.

Last evening, we drove the seven miles south to the farm where I grew up and where my sister and family still live. Just one last visit before flying home, I said. While walking through the late summer gardens, I noticed a lone sunflower, set apart from its fellows that were standing in neat orderly rows surrounded by a sturdy wooden fence. Somehow, this one sunflower seed had escaped the enclosure and was growing alone, apart from the sunflowers that held their heads up toward the sun. Outside the fence, the lone sunflower struggled on alone, bedraggled, worm eaten, alone in the harsh elements of rain and sun and wind. The large head was bowed to the earth. I had to have that picture.

The scene reminded me of God’s sheep together in the sheepfold, safely enclosed, together through the storms, the harsh elements, the attacks of predators, but still standing together, heads up, enfolded in God’s love, His care, watched over by the shepherd, by the shepherdess.

No marvel that Jesus went searching for the one sheep outside the safety of the sheepfold. Survival outside the fold is rare, the dangers are imminent, and the comfort and support of other sheep is missing.

How vivid are the lessons of nature! The patch of sunflowers enclosed together were hearty and colorful, filled with seeds, while only a few feet away, the lone sunflower struggled to survive, to produce, lacking strength to hold up its head and stand alone in the waning summer evening.

God’s people need each other and most of all; we need Him to set the parameters in our lives, to structure our life according to His will, the way that is best for us.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


If a bodie disagrees wi ye, try ti understaund whit wey, an tak the time ti gie guid raesons whit wey ye think yer ain wey is better.

Overview for:
Sword of the Wild Rose

The protagonist in the inspirational/historical novel, Sword of the Wild Rose, is an ancestor of the Davidson family in previous novels by the author, The Wild Rose of Lancaster, book 1, in the Wildrose series, and Wild Rose of Promise, book 2.

Sword of the Wild Rose is a “prequel” to books 1 & 2. However, all three books can be read as “stand alone” novels.

In the latest historical novel, our story opens with the “Battle of Bushy Run,” final battle of the French and Indian War. We meet Donald Davidson, soldier of the famed Black Watch, who appears at the scene of battle, then vanishes from sight.

Then we follow the life of our protagonist, Derick Davidson, Donald’s nephew, as he struggles through the heart-wrenching years of exile from Scotland and his subsequent effort to gain a foothold in his new homeland—America.

This setting for this novel is colonial America, 1773, just prior to the American Revolution. This window into Derick’s life covers his involvement in pre-revolutionary America and the events leading up to the war. After his ship arrives in Boston in 1773, Derick meets Daniel Morgan, the colorful and controversial character who later becomes the famed Revolutionary War hero of Saratoga.

The Colonies are on the brink of revolution and Derick again finds himself facing his age-old enemy—the English. Throughout his dangerous sojourn in the American colonies, Derick seeks an answer to the age-old question—why God, why me? The senseless murder of his young wife in Scotland, his unlawful act of retribution on the perpetrators, and leaving behind his children in Scotland, continually plague and trouble his mind.

Daniel Morgan takes Derick to his home in Virginia and teaches him the ways of the American frontiersmen. He finds a true friend in Morgan’s young neighbor, the beautiful and winsome Kearan Mackenzie. He discovers in her youthful honesty, a diversion to his grief. Kearan’s heart warms with love for the Scotsman, but her knowledge of his dark and questionable past cannot be overlooked. There must be a resolution. Derick is so self-absorbed with the pain of his past that he never dreams that the lass is falling in love with him. Kearan longs to comfort him, but he is lost in a world of painful memories, a place where she cannot go.

In a fortuitous meeting, Derick is reunited with his uncle, Donald Davidson, a former soldier of the famed Black Watch, a Highland Regiment fighting with the British during the Seven Years War. After the wars, Donald Davidson remains in America, taking up the life of a “longhunter.” Donald is a positive influence on the bitter young man, his brother’s son.

Derick drills with the riflemen from Frederick County under the leadership of his good friend, Captain Daniel Morgan. Derick becomes a skilled rifleman but is reluctant to join the Patriots. Centuries of fighting the English for independence leave Derick with little hope of an American victory.

Throughout the dangerous and difficult pre-war years and the events leading to the American Revolution, Daniel Morgan and Derick Davidson build a unique and lasting friendship that carry them through the unsettling times of revolutionary America.

Kearan Mackenzie eventually wins the heart of the handsome Scotsman, but not before he comes face to face with himself in a tempestuous battle of wills. He has taught her to sword fight, but we find that it is Kearan Mackenzie who holds the tip of her sword to Derick’s throat.

Filled with danger, intrigue, and unconditional love, Sword of the Wild Rose is the story of one man’s spiritual journey from the depths of heartbreak and revenge to the liberating experience of Divine forgiveness. ♦