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Sunday, July 21, 2013


Lately I've been thinking about what I want to leave behind. There is a plaque on the dining wall that says, "A hundred years from now, it won't matter what car you drove or where you lived, but the difference you made in other's lives."

I will have very few things to leave behind. As part of the move to a nursing home, I've had to get rid of 90% of my things. I have certain things that I desperately want to keep. My son prizes other things.

The nibble I wrote for today (@ if you're interested) dwelt on this verse from Psalm 30: When I'm "dust to dust," my songs and stories of you won't sell. (Psalm 30:12, MSG) Again--what legacy will I leave behind in books?

Then there's family. A very small family, but with my precious grandbabies, God has renewed my life--my line--the essence of "me" will live on. Perhaps I will live to see greatgrandchildren, as Mom did (Isaiah being God's gift when Mom died, as Jordan was when Jolene died.) I love the children, but I also thank God for affirming my life through theirs.

I rejoice that my son is a solid, committed believe in his Messiah-Savior, and committed to the Word of God. He practices his faith and seeks to instill the truth in his children. He is a good husband and father, a hard worker, fiscally responsible--a driven oldest child, perhaps, but a good man. I am proud of my son and thankful that he turned out so well in spite of my many parenting faults.

Things, now. The one thing I collected to tell the story of my family is Christmas ornaments. A golden ski boot from the Salt Lake City Olympics. A paisley-colored partridge that I bought in Boothbay Harbor when my children visited the grandmother in Maine the last time. A blue delft disc from a trip to the Dutch Festival in Denver. Thing 1 and Thing 2, celebrating my childhood memories of Dr. Seuss. Santa with a soccer ball to remember the children's love of the game. And many more.

The only problem? Jaran doesn't celebrate Christmas. But I want to catalog the ornaments, tell their story, and hand them on to my grandchildren. They may follow in Jaran's footsteps--or they may choose a different path, as Jaran did. I want the choice available to them.

Beyond that, I want the cross-stich that I spent hours creating, the books I've written. And that takes all the space I have available, and I little bit more.

Ah, finally, my books. I don't expect my books to still be selling fifty years from now. I once developed out-of-reach goals for my writing:

  • To write a New York Times best seller, that represented a book that "crossed over" from Christian fiction to mainstream. That dream is as unlikely now as it was when I put it into words.
  • To mentor hundreds of writers. I have come to realize that I don't have the time to mentor fledgling writers individually. But I have the potential to train writers as my opportunities to teach online have increased. Most recently, ACFW invited me to return next year to teach another course. Next March, I will be presenting my workshop on "Fearless Research" to the all those interested in the hundreds of ACFW members.
  • To make enough money to leave something for my family. At the moment, I can't afford to make too much money, or else my aid will stop. But there is a possibility of royalties, etc., so it's not entirely impossible.
  • To write 100 books. Well, after ten years in print, I (will)have 31 books.Even if I keep at the same pace for twenty years, I won't reach 100 books. And in 20 years time, I will be knocking the door on 80 years of age. I can barely imagine writing at that age at all, let alone three books a year. But . . . that one is on the edge of possible. I won't knock it down, quite yet.

The thought of the people my books reach staggers me. Thousands of people have read something I have written. Dozens of people read My Daily Nibble every day. Somewhere, somehow, God uses me to plant seeds in the lives of others.

Family. Ministry. The Future.

God willing, it's all in place.

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