(Olivia Newport light on lake photo)

Photo by Larry Mohr.

Two months after writing about being MIA on my own blog, I still am. Some of the reasons are the same. The migraine issues I wrote about in December (but which began in August) have crossed over into a diagnosis of “chronic.” Thankfully medication keeps them from being acute, though they are still daily, and their presence in my life has certainly affected my activities and productivity. On top of that, the annual winter respiratory crud has slayed all the members of my household. I’m guessing many of you know exactly what I’m talking about on that front! We’ve never quite gotten back to normal and now seem to be starting a second round of the same mess of symptoms.

From the couch with my tissues and cough drops and hot liquids nearby, I slogged through edits of Gladden the Heart, which will come to your eyes in July. It’s another historical Amish, but this time I’ve gone back further in time than I have before, all the way to 1847. I’ll tell you more as the release time gets closer.

I’m also working on Colors of Christmas, which is two Christmas stories that will release in one volume next fall, just in time for when Christmas rolls around again. This is due to the publisher very soon, so I’m pressing hard right now.

Many other topics press through my mind and spirit to share with you here: the conversation I had with my friend who is a hospice chaplain about the day my dad died 12 years ago, and the insight that came out of that talk that I’d never had before, for instance. Or the way members of my family, acting independently, turned up Christmas morning with the best panoply of gifts a Cubs fan could ask for. Or the moments of God’s grace in these months of figuring out what “normal” is now. Or how my mother, who I used to write about but who is deep into dementia, is finding new joy in art. Maybe someday I’ll get to write about those things. For now, I ponder in my heart.

What have you got tucked away to ponder in your heart as life either races by or perhaps leaves you feeling stranded? May God’s grace meet you there.