Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Collecting Shells

Last weekend I had the privilege of walking on a long, sunny beach. For this Minnesota girl, feeling sand between my toes in February was nothing short of miraculous. The sand was covered with thousands of shells and I couldn’t wait to start collecting—hunting for treasures and dodging foaming waves.

As I watched an endless progression of waves sweep in to deposit scallops and conchs, I realized that every day I walked on this beach there would be new possibilities. New colors or shapes or designs to discover. If I trudged with my head down determined to find one particular kind of shell, I could spend a wasted day and return feeling I’d failed. But if I waited to see what new blessings scattered onto the shore, something new and special would find me.

Lord, each day you bring me new treasures in all shapes and sizes. Give me patience to let the waves carry those blessings in. Give me openness to see the variety before me. Give me gratitude for your creativity and abounding goodness. Each day, let me collect your gifts of unexpected encounters, precious relationships, challenges to face, beauty to enjoy. And on those days where the beach of my life looks empty, let me enjoy the feeling of sand between my toes while I wait for the next wave. Amen.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Christian Fiction in the News

Last week, I had a great chat with Molly Millett from the St. Paul Pioneer Press about the growth and diversity of Christian fiction. Her article appeared in the Sunday paper, and you can read it at


There’s a brief description of THE SECRET LIFE OF BECKY MILLER, and a great quote from my editor, Charlene Patterson. Molly interviewed Carol Johnson (V.P. at Bethany House Publishing) and other Christian authors—particularly those writing chick-lit or mom-lit.

There is also a sidebar of recommended books, including BECKY MILLER, that you can view at


Molly included this quote of mine from our interview: “So many women I know attend church and pray; faith is a normal, integral part of their lives. But in general fiction, it is often ignored or washed out of the story.”

I believe that within all good stories, there is an element of a faith journey. A character grows, changes, confronts challenges, and evaluates what really matters. In my books, I’m open with the ways that the God of the Bible intersects my characters’ lives. My hope is that this aspect of the story will not be didactic and preachy, but will convey the truthful struggles many of us face.

Want to hear more from the variety of Christians writing “lit”? Visit the Faithchicks Blog at


I post there on the first Tuesday of each month. But I enjoy reading the other posts even more. Be sure to look through the archives. Great thoughts from great ladies of faith.