Two Ambitious Prayers

This entry is part 3 of the series Story Behind the Book

In 2009, I sensed the Lord calling me to write a book of meditations for those in the cancer valley. I gave it the working title of Rise and Soar, based on Isaiah 40:31, Those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up on wings as eagles.

A couple of months later, I was approached to take on the post of Night Sister (RN in charge) in a large Frail Care center.

I agreed to take on the work only after being certain that I would be able to continue with my writing when my patients were asleep. I needed the money, I loved nursing, and I enjoyed night duty. But . . . Rise and Soar was my priority.

Fortunately, it looked as if I could have both.

Some months before, I had started to pray that 

  • somehow the Lord would make it possible for me to attend another Christian Writers’ Conference in the USA. I couldn’t see any other way of making contact with an overseas publisher. Thanks to the world-wide economic crisis, any type of travel was out of the question on our budget. There was certainly no way I could pay for world travel.
  • I prayed the Lord would show me which conference I was to attend.
  • I prayed He would supply the means, not only for the conference itself, but also to cover the cost of getting there.
  • And I prayed He would provide in such a way there was no question the finances were for a conference.

In other words, I prayed for a series of miracles.

Now I added another prayer:

  • that I would be able to get the necessary leave to attend the conference when God opened the many doors. I knew He was going to get me to a conference. I just didn’t know how. And I didn’t know how my new employers would react if it was too soon.

A few nights later, before I had even signed the contract for my new job, I received a totally unexpected email.

I was about to go to bed, when I checked my email one more time. There was an email from Cec Murphey in the States, offering to finance a trip to attend one of two conferences. The one was way too soon. The other was the Florida Christian Writers’ Conference in Leesburg, Florida.

Wow! This was indeed a miracle beyond anything I could have imagined. But the conference was in February. I would only have been working for five months. Surely I wouldn’t be able to get leave so soon? I phoned the Matron of the Frail Care unit. She didn’t hesitate. Certainly, I could have the leave. She even agreed that I could have a week off before and after, so that I would be able to get over my night-duty hours before the conference—and over the jet-lag after the conference.

Nearly four weeks leave—on full pay—after only five months of work. Surely this had to be of the Lord?

With a sense of awe, I accepted Cec’s offer, and I signed the contract with the Frail Care.

Both prayers were answered within a few days of each other! From that moment, I knew that the Florida conference was part of God’s plan for Rise and Soar.

  • I expanded my prayers to include a request that the Lord would bring to the conference the representative of the publishing house He wanted to publish the book. Almost every day, I started to watch the conference website to see which publishers would be represented.

And I started night duty.


Dreams of a Book

This entry is part 2 of the series Story Behind the Book

Several years after my cancer treatment, I was riding on my exercise bicycle with a book on writing perched on the handlebars. The author asked a question that prompted me to think. It went something like this: “If you were only going to get one book published in your life, what would that be?” I stopped reading, and although I continued to pedal, I prayed. What one book would be the most important for me to write? read more

Embracing Your Second Calling ~ Dale Hanson Bourke

EmbracingI am so glad I offered to review this book. It is one of the best I have read in many years. It’s specifically for women in their “second half” of life. Dale quotes Carl Jung’s statement, “We cannot live the afternoon of life according to the program of life’s morning.” This is what this book is all about. I am well into my afternoon of life, but hadn’t spotted the shift until I read this book. Now I feel free to be me the “Me” that I’ve become, and allow the “Me” of the morning part of my life to relax.
I read the book in every available gap of time throughout the day and meditated on the questions for reflection while I was doing other things. I am now going back over it, taking a few pages at a time, and journaling as I go.
There is so much more to this book than just a reading book. I would love to go through it with a group of women who are in the afternoon of their lives, and Dale includes “Act”s for group discussion. Sadly, at this stage the book is not available in South Africa or I would definitely try to arrange this.
Dale also uses the story of Naomi to illustrate many of her points, which makes for a fascinating Bible Study in itself.
My only disappointment with this book has nothing to do with the author. I don’t know if the publishers used a different type of material with the book cover, but the plastic covering was starting to peel off when I received the book, and it eventually got so bad I pulled it off. Not what I’ve come to expect of Thomas Nelson books. Maybe I was just unfortunate.
This doesn’t in any way affect the book itself though, and I would strongly recommend it to women in their 40s and later. As Dale has shown me, there comes a time in our lives when we move on from our first calling. So many women seem to spend the second half of their lives trying to continue or revive the program for the first half, instead of embracing their second calling. Thank you Dale for an excellent and thought-provoking book.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”