Sprinklers and Charcoal

Fire-ravaged hills in Southern California.

Fire-ravaged hills in Southern California.

Yesterday as I was driving near our community, past the wasteland left from the recent Southern California wildfires, I saw a lovely sight. Crews working on the road medians had replaced the piping that must have melted during the fires and were testing the new sprinklers. Instead of being frustrated with water on my windshield, I had to smile.

I’m still excited from ACFW and feel poised for new beginnings. I loved this visual reminder that life can spring with new hope from the wastelands of our experiences. When I took this picture today the air still smelled like charcoal from an old barbecue. It gives me shivers.

When I was in St. Louis, I talked to people from all around the country and many walks of life. There was a common theme amongst writers there: we want to help people be encouraged. I met so many examples of resilience! People battling illness sharing their pearls of wisdom; gracious ladies being wise grandmothers and putting that in book form; brave modern-day knights who’ve been to war and place their characters in similar situations.

With these examples in mind, as I’m editing my tween novel, my desire is to transfer some lessons I’ve learned into helpful ideas for kids. When they face difficult decisions, they can have some wisdom in the hardest corners of life. I’ve seen first-hand that God can breathe into the dead zones. He loves to bring in those new “pipes,” or perspective, to bring times of refreshment like those sprinklers.

Don’t lose hope. If you’ve had a rough patch, please hold onto those dreams and ask Him to rebuild joy into your life once more.

Here’s a great question:

How do you find encouragement when the smoke has cleared? I’d love to hear from your experiences.

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