The Blog Machine

This week last year our community was ravaged by wildfires, we were miraculously spared this time. Photo: Hayne Palmour IV U-T San Diego

This week last year our community was ravaged by wildfires, we were miraculously spared this time. Photo: Hayne Palmour IV U-T San Diego

A Year Ago… Touched By Sticky Grace

I was trailing through the grocery store with my adventurous nine-year-old son Joey and he pointed toward the blood pressure machine, loving all things with buttons.

“Mom, can I please play with the blog machine?”

I love when he trips on an “oops” word still. There aren’t many these days. And I smiled ear-to-ear that he even knows what a blog is. As we continued through the store, I kept thinking that less than a year ago, really nine months ago, this fun journey through blogging began for me. Then the big AHA. A year ago this week, our family was evacuated and living in a hotel wondering if we were going to lose our home for the second time.

My heart beat faster as I picked out the vegetables. I squeezed the corn a bit too tightly as a memory lit my senses of my same brave son yelling a frantic prayer for an army of angels to come fight the fires with the firefighters we passed as we left. I remember seeing flames licking the sides of school buses evacuating the nearby school as I turned off the television coverage. We hit the road with some quickly grabbed photos and precious things. It was the third time evacuating for us since we moved to Southern California from Texas. Many people lost their homes that week, but this time we were spared. It’s weird to return home when you’ve said goodbye and thought it would all be in ashes…again.

What a tremendous gift of unexpected grace.

Sometimes I’m asked why I can write so fervently and creatively to help tweens, teens, and their parents—or really anyone struggling to be more resilient and needing crumbs of belief to face caring for a sick relative, handle a needy child, or soldier through some difficulty.

It’s the grace. It’s so sticky, like honey. It won’t come off.

My husband and I realized a year ago, life was very brittle, very precious. It still is. But our resolve to conquer our own battles, to be resolute in trying all-out, was so solidified in that return home. Every memory, every photo, every scarf…all new once more. No one in our community lost a home, unheard of with that kind of fire and wind condition. A true miracle.

For others, devastating loss. I’ve lived both stories now. Both kinds of healing. Both kinds of new beginnings. Both kinds of grace. Sticky grace.

Flash forward to now—my older son is several inches taller than I am, and my youngest is still Mr. Adventure. My manuscript about a young 12-year-old girl who’s deaf from a wildfire accident and lives through a gem-filled adventurous mystery is complete, and ready to find a home. This blog and others I’ve guest blogged for have enriched my world beyond belief. I regularly visit with other writers and after years of getting ready, I am ready for my own adventures in seeking to publish a fantasy series.

Last year my editor said the reader needed to know more about how my protagonist got hurt. I had no problem describing the fire while staying in the hotel room. It’s still crisp and singed in my mind.

But the grace. Sticky grace. I want to thank those fire fighters, and those who’ve encouraged my writing journey. I appreciate all the brave ones who push back and fight for others’ freedom.

I am grateful. Look how hard they fought the fires, sleeping in shifts in the grass of a neighbor’s yard. So moving.

Has anyone fought tirelessly to give you more freedom or preserve your well-being? Thank them today. They deserve it. Whether it’s a prayer or some other kind of protection, reach out and thank them. Be grateful. Be wrapped in sticky love and grace. And may your dreams find true resolve in lasting hope.

The firefighters worked so hard, they slept in shifts in a neighbor's yard so to save us. True bravery. Photo: ABC10 News

The firefighters worked so hard, they slept in shifts in a neighbor’s yard to save us. True bravery. Photo: ABC10 News


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