Anita Klumpers–Author Interview

anita's picture

Dear Friends,

Today, I’d like to introduce you to Anita Klumpers—the extraordinary woman in this photo.  Anita is not only a terrific Christian author (her book Winter Watch is one of my favorites), but she’s also a terrific person. Over the last year, I’ve gotten to know Anita, and she’s one of the kindest, sweetest, funniest people I’ve ever met. She has a twinkle of humor that makes our conversations a pure delight. Anita has a genuine heart for the Lord, and it shines through in everything she says and does. I feel honored to be interviewing her today.

Danele: Hello, Anita! I’m so happy to have you on my blog!

Anita: Thanks, Danele! Isn’t cyberspace fabulous? The chances that we would bump into each other at a grocery store, talk, and become good friends are infinitesimal—especially since we live several hundred of miles apart. But we meet on social media, and you are now on my list of favorite people. I even get to visit you here–in the virtual sense of the word.

Danele: Anita, you always make me smile! You’re on my list of favorite people too! Well, let’s jump right in to things. I’m sure my readers would like to learn more about you.  Can you tell us when you gave your heart to Christ?

Anita: Truly, I never remember not belonging to Christ. My parents raised me to love and honor God. They taught me to understand the depth of His love, and to know that it would provide salvation and eternal life by the willing sacrifice of His Son. I’m so thankful that I’ve seen God’s hand on my life since birth. Since then, He has affirmed His love and protection every day, and I’ve increasingly appreciated and adored Him—because how could I not? He is my everything.

Danele: That’s so beautiful! I grew up in a Christian home too, and I’m glad my parents taught me about God. When I look back on my life, I can see that I learned the importance of trusting God when I became ill. Have you encountered a difficult situation when you needed to totally rely on God?

Anita: Oh boy. Several. The one on my mind now (because it happened around this time of year) was the fall of 2006 when my middle son was arrested. He had just dropped his girlfriend home after a church event, drove too fast, and tried to evade the police officer (who subsequently smashed up his squad car and required hospitalization). My just-turned-18 son was kept in jail for three nights, and we were unable to visit him. And then we spent $10,000 on an attorney to keep him from being sent to prison. In the middle of this, my mom needed emergency surgery.  She was in the hospital for two months before she died. We sobbed into the heart of God daily. He sometimes gave peace—and even moments of joy. And sometimes, He just told us to trust. Before Mom died, she said God had given her peace about my son. She knew he would be fine. And he is. He is an amazing son, husband, and daddy. He’s a solid Christian small business owner, and he’s dedicated to his church and his God. We learned that trust doesn’t always mean we’ll feel happy or content—or even that we’ll feel trusting. But we know God is true, and He always, always keeps His promises.

Danele: That’s so true, but it’s a hard lesson to learn. When I was younger, I HATED the book of Job. I didn’t like the idea that a person could be in the will of God and still have problems. Truthfully, I was hoping that if I was a “good girl” God would keep me from having hardships. Naturally, it didn’t work out that way. But my illness taught me the truth of what you just said—that trust doesn’t mean we’ll always feel happy, but it does mean that we can count on God to keep His promises. Even though I faced a serious illness, I learned that when you put yourself completely in God’s hands, there’s an unexplainable peace that envelops your heart.

Anita: That’s true.  I went through pretty severe depression after the birth of my youngest son. It got so bad that one day when I felt a weird pain in my left arm while I was driving, I thought, “Oh, that’s a symptom of a heart attack. Well, if I die at least the sadness will be over.” My only comfort was that I didn’t have my babies in the car with me, so they couldn’t be hurt. God did deliver me from depression, but He chose to do it over the course of five years. One day I realized the sun was a little brighter, and music a bit prettier, and the depression was gone. But the fascinating part was looking back at those five years and realizing how close I had felt to God. He taught me the meaning of “I will never leave you or forsake you.”

Danele: God is so amazing! And He reveals himself in so many ways. Sometimes when I was ill, I felt His presence so strongly—like a whirlwind of fire that took my breath away. Other times, His presence was soft and gentle—like a whisper of peace in my soul. I think that God likes to show Himself in a variety of ways. Just when I think I have Him figured out, He surprises me.  Sometimes, He reveals Himself in humorous ways.  Has that ever happened to you?

Anita: It sure has! Remember the story about my son getting thrown in jail? About a week earlier we were heading back from his grandparents’ house on a dark country road when my son asked to drive. While my husband and other two sons slept in the back, I stayed wide awake in the front because, of course, that would mean we wouldn’t get in a crash. My son was driving too fast, and when I told him to slow down he said, “Mom, you don’t understand that I have this vehicle under complete control.” I knew he was being an idiot, so I prayed, “God, please let my son get a ticket, so he slows down before he gets hurt.” And God said that He would take care of it. I just didn’t realize God would take care of it with a $10,000 bill, jail time, and community service! But now my son is one of the safest drivers I know!

Danele: Oh, Anita, you just made me chuckle! You’re such a delight!  Now, before I let you go, can you tell us a little about your book?

Anita: Sure! Winter Watch was my first novel. I wrote it as a challenge to myself, to see if I could develop a plot and write a full-length novel. Astonishingly, and through a series of extraordinary events, it was published. I still pinch myself.

Danele: I know that feeling! I can’t wait until January when my book, Time Tsunami, comes out! Sometimes I feel like I’m living in a dream. I wrote my books while I was in quarantine. I used them as vehicles to experience the outside world. What inspired you?

Anita: I grew up loving the suspense novels of Elizabeth Peters, Mary Stewart, and M.M. Kaye—books with a strong sense of place and an appealing romance. Winter Watch and my second book, The Shade of His Hand, (due for release in February, 2016) are both contemporary romantic suspense that were inspired by my favorite authors, but with a Christian worldview.

Danele: Wait a minute! Hold the phone!!! Did I hear you right? You have another book coming out?? THAT’S AWESOME!!! I’m going to nab your new book the first chance I get! I really loved Winter Watch. Before I met you, I was told by several people that I HAD to read your book.  They told me that Winter Watch was a beautiful example of how a writer could make her characters come alive—and what they said was true! Even your minor characters lived and breathed.  By the end of your book, I felt totally acquainted with the town of Barley. I’m so glad to hear that you have another book coming out!

Anita: Thank you! Me too!

Danele: Anita, you’re so much fun! Thank you for visiting my blog today. I’ve had such a blast talking with you!

Anita: I can’t think of anyone I would rather set a spell with. You are sweet, and encouraging, and altogether wonderful–and you’d better print all that even if it makes you blush. God bless you. I’m so thankful He brought our worlds together.

Danele: I’m glad too!

 

Friends, Anita Klumpers is such a delight!  If you would like to get more acquainted with her, or if you’d like to learn more about her books, you can follow the links below.  I hope you have a wonderful day!

Anita’s Blog: The Tuesday Prude (http://thetuesdayprude.com/)

Anita’s Twitter: @AnitaKlumpers

Winter Watch:  http://www.amazon.com/Winter-Watch-Anita-Klumpers/dp/1940099463

The Shade of His Hand: Release date February 2016

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Ancient Ruins and a New Outlook

boulder house

Dear Friends,

On a recent trip to the Grand Canyon, I visited all kinds of ruins. Some of the building were cliff dwellings, others were houses built beneath boulders. Although they were all different, they had one thing in common—they were empty.  As I walked around the crumbling homes, I wondered about the people who used to lived in them.  At one time, those people had hopes and dreams.  At one time, they had struggles and worries. As I walked, I sighed. I knew about worry. The reason I was on “vacation” was because I had to evacuate while the fields next to my house were being sprayed. My trip wasn’t scheduled, and I didn’t really have time for it. There were important things I needed to do. Taking time out to protect my health wasn’t in my plans.

ruin 2As I squinted down at a tumbled pile of bricks, I realized that the people who had built these walls had battled problems too. My shoes stirred up dust, and the sun beat down, as I picked my way through abandoned rooms.  The things that were so important–so STRESSFUL–to the people who had lived here, did they actually matter in the grand scheme of things? Whatever worries that had consumed these people had long since been forgotten. The things that were vitally important to them had crumbled into discarded piles of pebbles and dust.

Mesa 1

As I studied the ancient ruins, I began examining my own life—my own worries. Were the things consuming me REALLY important? Would I even remember them ten or twenty years down the road? Putting my hand against a sunbaked wall, I began to feel the brevity of my life.  James 4:14 says our lives are like a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. It’s so true. Time goes so fast.  Years slip by so quickly.  In light of eternity, what problems are really worth stressing over?

ruin 5

I took a long, hard look at my life during my trip, and I realized that I was wasting quite a bit of mental energy on things that were temporary at their best. Ever since I came home, I’ve been praying, “Lord, show me what really matters. Help me not to waste any more time.” As I look at the pictures I took at the ruins, I feel that the people who used to live there would approve.

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Brushing Fire: Soul Poetry–Book Review

Brushing fire

Dear Friends,

Today I want to share one of my favorite books of Christian poetry with you.  Brushing Fire: Soul Poetry was written by Anna Marie Kittrell, and it’s available for purchase through Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Oh, friends, I dearly love this book! Some of the poems are deeply moving, and others are extremely funny. All of them are thought-provoking. When I first started reading Anna’s poems, I decided to color my favorite lines yellow and put colored tabs by the poems I enjoyed. By the time I finished the book, I had gone through TWO colored pencils and TWO huge stacks of sticky tabs. You should see my book now—it’s a riot of colored tabs and highlighted lines. Some of the poems are so good that I’ve started memorizing them. Reading this book one time through hasn’t been nearly good enough, some of the poems I’ve read over and over—savoring them—thinking about them—rolling them around in my mind. I’m excited to report that I’ve received permission from Anna Kittrell to give you a few excerpts of her writing. Without further ado, here’s an exclusive sneak peak at what you will find in Brushing Fire!

Fearless (Brushing Fire, Anna Kittrell, page 97)

Fear is smoke and mirrors; Illusion at its best; An overestimated trick; Designed to cause unrest. Though fear seeks to harm me; It will not steal my peace; When outwardly I tremble; My soul will rest at ease. I may shake for a moment; I may break down and cry; But fear is temporary; My tears will soon be dry. The peace I’ve found in Jesus; Is not the worldly kind; Transcending understanding; It guards my heart and mind.

Live and Learn (Brushing Fire, Anna Kittrell, page 73)

Call me names, I’ll shed a tear; You’ll laugh and tell a friend; I’ll learn how sharp a tongue can be; As my hurt feelings mend. Our differences are many; I’m sure you will agree; I will extract compassion; From the pain you’ve given me. I will not change my ways for you; God loves me, flaws and all; And if I see you stumble; I will try and break your fall. I thank you for the chance to feel; How deeply words can burn; I’ll be a better comforter; To someone in return.

Lost (Brushing Fire, Anna Kittrell, page 16)

. . .Let me be lost; From myself without care; Apart from this costume; Of flesh that I wear. Lost like a raindrop; Blown free by the wind; A drink for dry land; To go where you send. Help me get lost; From this world that I’m in; To be pleaser of God; Not a pleaser of men. Lost in a crowd; With my mind upon You; To lose myself, Lord; Is the least I can do.

Sweet Dreams (Brushing Fire, Anna Kittrell, page 64)

When much needed sleep eludes you; As you rest your weary head; In place of counting sheep tonight; Count blessings found instead.  Remember all the miracles; When God supplied your grace; You’ll soon be dreaming peacefully; A smile upon your face.  Meditate upon His Word; He’ll plant it in your heart; And then whenever darkness comes; Your faith won’t fall apart.  So when daylight turns to nightfall; And you find it hard to sleep; Don’t forget to count your blessings; God will keep track of the sheep.

Friends, I could recite poem after poem for you! They’re all terrific, and choosing just a few to post has been extremely difficult. Anna’s writing has struck a chord with me, and Brushing Fire is a book that I will treasure for years to come! If you’re interested in learning more about Anna Kittrell, Brushing Fire, or any of Anna’s other books, please feel free to follow the links I have provided. I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Anna Kittrell’s Amazon Author Page/Books http://alturl.com/bchbw

Anna Kittrell’s Books on Barnes and Noble http://alturl.com/f4qb8

Anna Kittrell’s Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/AKittrell

Anna Kittrell’s Prism ‘Shine’ Inventory http://prismbookgroup.com/shine.html

Anna Kittrell’s Email: kittrellbooks@gmail.com

 

The Shower Curtain Spider

spider shower

Dear Friends,

Do you want to know my definition of sheer terror???

It’s getting into the shower without my glasses, squinting down, and seeing a HUGE black spider beside my toes.

Do you want to know my definition of utter embarrassment???

It’s yelping, hopping on one foot, tossing the bar of soap at the offending arachnid, slipping, and nearly breaking my neck by almost falling out of the tub—only to discover that the spider is, in fact, the magnet stitched into the bottom of the shower curtain.

Being of a rather analytical mind, after I regained my balance and nursed my bruised pride, I tried to find a spiritual lesson in my spider adventure—and believe it or not, I actually found one.

Years ago, when I learned that I had multi-chemical sensitivity, I did a massive amount of research, and what I found was very discouraging.  Many people never recovered, and others came down with other hideous illnesses.  Premature death was a possibility and so was indefinite quarantine. Needless to say, I wasn’t a very happy camper. In fact, the more I researched, the gloomier I became. After a while, I began to see myself as a dead-woman walking. I pictured my funeral. I made out my will. I stopped struggling and resigned myself to the inevitable. Joy left. Life turned gray.

Now, what ended up changing? At some point, I realized that what I was doing wasn’t productive. Imagining my funeral was a waste of time. Mourning my “lost” life was destructive. So, I tossed all my research into a plastic tub and taped it shut.  I deleted the links to the websites. I stopped looking for more information about my condition. Was I being foolish? I don’t think so.  You see, before I’d even heard the term multi-chemical sensitivity, I’d received God’s promise that I would be well. I figured that if I had God’s promise, reading things that contradicted that promise weren’t doing me any good. All they were doing was destroying my faith. I wasn’t ignoring facts—I was choosing to decide that GOD’S FACT trumped man’s facts.

It’s been years since I tossed my research into a tub, and although I still struggle with some health issues, I’m getting better every day.  I’m out of full quarantine, and I haven’t come down with any of the hideous side effects that I used to worry about. Funeral plans and wills are things of the past. Life is opening up, and it’s GRAND. Looking back on it, my research and funeral plans were like me attacking the spider on the shower curtain. To my blurry vision, it looked like I was headed toward certain death, but in reality, I was getting better every day.  The huge, spidery “truth” that I was seeing was only an illusion.  I’m so glad that what God says ALWAYS trumps what man says. I’m so glad that FAITH trumps “facts” every time! What a beautiful truth!  What a happy thought!

You know, I’m glad I made a fool of myself with the “spider.” It reminded me not to freak out when I spot scary things on the horizon. After all, perhaps the “scary thing” is just the blurry outline of a harmless magnet.  Perhaps it’s not scary at all. Maybe, it will end up being like that research I did—a collection of harmless “facts” collecting dust in a plastic tub.

“Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5)

Victoria Pitts Caine–Author Interview

vicki caine

Dear Friends,

Today, I’d like to introduce you to the remarkable woman in this photograph. Victoria Pitts Caine is a Christian author whom I admire. When I first joined Prism Book Group, Victoria went out of her way to make me feel welcome. During the time we’ve known each other, she has been a true friend and a wonderful encouragement. Not only is she a terrific person, she’s also a terrific author. Her short story, Like a Lily, is one of my favorites–it’s full of symbolism, and I really love that!

Danele: Victoria, it’s so nice to have you on my blog! Welcome!

Victoria: Thanks, Danele, I’m excited to be here and become further acquainted with you and your readers.

Danele: We’re all very glad to have you! Well, let’s jump right into things. My illness taught me the importance of trusting God.  Have you experienced a difficult situation when you needed to totally rely on God?

Victoria: I’ve been a Christian since I was nine years old. Like all humans, I have issues, and one of my biggest ones is patience. Due to a childhood illness, I was not able to have children. Of course we went through the grueling fertility treatments, and adoption became the avenue we pursued. Doors closed at each possibility along the way until I learned of a Christian adoption agency in Oregon. God certainly had a hand in teaching me patience through the seven year waiting process. Once we decided to adopt overseas, that part took a little over two years. We spent our ninth wedding anniversary in Korea and brought home an amazing gift, our oldest daughter. She was followed three years later by a sister.   

Danele: That’s so amazing! I love how God manages to give us solutions to our most difficult problems. Has there been another time when you’ve dramatically felt the presence of God?

Victoria: I had a problem getting medical care for my youngest (who is developmentally disabled) and channeling her through the right organizations to get help. I had taken off work, and I was driving across town in the pouring rain with my stomach in knots going to one more appointment with someone who might make a decision that wouldn’t be for her benefit. I felt God’s presence, and He told me everything would be fine. I felt so much peace, and a calmness washed over me. And, as God promised, all went well.

Danele: I’ve felt that calming presence before, and it’s so comforting! I love how God never lets us face trouble alone.  Do you have a favorite Bible verse?

Victoria: Ecclesiastes 3:1,To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” I truly believe this. Many things have happened in my life where God caused all things to come together for good.

Danele: That’s so true! When I was ill, I thought a lot about the seasons and how nothing remains the same forever.  Illness, sadness, trouble–they all will pass away. Spring always comes again. And, even when it doesn’t seem like it, everything really does work out for our good.

Victoria: I agree. The above verses and the seven that follow are a running theme in my novel, Alvarado Gold.

Danele: I’m so glad you mentioned your writing.  I’d like my readers to have more information about your books. Is there anything you’d like to say about them?

Victoria: My three novels Alvarado Gold, Cairo, and The Tempering Agent are all Christian based. The Tempering Agent is the third in the series and it delves into antiquities trafficking in Egypt. The heroine has abandoned her relationship with God and is dealing with an issue of trust. The hero is an agent assigned to protect the nation’s treasures from theft. While working together, she finds herself in danger from a trafficker. She must learn to trust the agent and God. This novel also involves the Breast Plate of the High Priest and the stones which are displayed on it – combining another one of my passions – gemstone collecting. Danele, I know one of your favorite books is my novella, Like a Lily. This short story is about a flower shop, a new minister, and finding the perfect lily for Easter. Here are the links to my books:

Alvarado Gold http://tinyurl.com/opcqagx 

Cairo http://tinyurl.com/k449p2g

The Tempering Agent https://tinyurl.com/mbormku

Like a Lily (novella) http://tinyurl.com/ph3dbrh

Danele: I’m glad to have the links! And I really loved Like a Lily! It was a total blast to read! Now, here’s one final question for you, and it’s a fun one–what’s the first thing you want to do when you get to heaven?

Victoria: Catch up with my dad. He’s been gone a long time now, and I’d like to discuss a little fishing and a little baseball.

Danele: That sounds terrific! I can’t wait to talk to my loved ones too! I’ve enjoyed talking with you so much, Victoria! Thanks for being with us!

Victoria: Thank you. This has been fun. I appreciate the chance to be on your blog today.

Danele: You’re so welcome!

Friends, Victoria really is a wonderful person. If you’d like to learn more about her, or if you’d like to contact her, she can be reached by following these links:

Victoria’s Website: http://vcaine.homestead.com

Victoria’s Blog: http://victoriapitts-caine.blogspot.com

Victoria’s Email: alvaradogold9@gmail.com

Victoria’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorVictoriaPittsCaine

I hope you all have a terrific day today!

I’m Out of the Boat, Lord, but I’m Sinking Fast!!!

light wave

Dear Friends,

I just LOVE the apostle Peter in the New Testament! Why? Probably, because studying him gives me hope. I want to be a strong Christian for the Lord, but often, I feel like a floundering mess–especially when it comes to worry. Peter was like that too, and looking at his journey toward unwavering faith always gives me a spiritual boost.  You see, Peter didn’t start out as a MAN OF EXTREME FAITH, he had a worrying heart. You can see his struggle in Matthew 14.  When Jesus was walking on the water, Peter jumped out of the boat and started walking on the water toward him.  Cool, right? Yeah, for a while.  Then Peter looked around and saw the big waves.  Immediately, he grew frightened and began to sink.

In many ways, I can relate to Peter.  I feel like I spend my time wavering between faith and fear. One moment, I’m walking on water–the next, I’m sinking fast. This troubles me.  In fact, it troubles me BIG TIME.  I want to be a woman of FAITH–capital letter faith–but how do I get there? I’ve thought a lot about it over the last few years, and I’ve come to a conclusion.  I think Peter’s experience in Matthew 14 holds the key.

“. . .Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. . .Jesus spake unto them, saying, ‘Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.’ And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.  And [Jesus] said, ‘Come.’ And when Peter was come down out of the ship he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. BUT WHEN HE SAW THE WIND BOISTEROUS, HE WAS AFRAID; AND BEGINNING TO SINK, HE CRIED, SAYING, ‘LORD SAVE ME.’ And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, ‘O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?'” (Matthew 14:25b-31).

I think Peter got into trouble when he took his eyes off Jesus and put them on the boisterous wind and waves.  When he saw what was going on around him, he became afraid, and his fear caused him to sink.  And if I’m going to be honest, that’s my biggest problem.  When I step out in faith, I tend to take my eyes off Jesus and start looking around.  I try to estimate how high the waves are around me. I peer down at the water and wonder if the sharks below are going to nibble my toes. I frantically look back at the boat and try to figure out if I can get back to safety if things go wrong.  I wonder if I’ll be able to swim, and I worry that drowning will hurt. I look up at the gathering storm clouds, spot a waterspout, and FREAK OUT. I glance back at Jesus, trying to figure out how far away he is, and I wonder why ON EARTH he isn’t running toward me. Scared out of my wits, I take my eyes off Jesus and search the water for octopus, giant squids, and piranhas. As my eyes dart everywhere, my worried thoughts spiral out of control. When I look down at my toes again to see if the sharks have discovered them, I realize I’m up to my knees in seawater and sinking fast.

Friends, let’s be honest–life is scary.  REALLY SCARY. I learned that when I became sick. But the reality is that Jesus LOVES us, and he is bigger and stronger than this scary world. When Peter cried for help, Jesus immediately stretched forth his hand and caught him. I love that part of the scripture.  I love the fact that Jesus was standing so close to Peter that all he had to do was reach out a hand. When I’m miring in worry, I tend to think that Jesus is miles away, but in reality, he’s right beside me ready to step in and save me. Sometimes he saves me with instant deliverance, sometimes, he holds me close as I walk through a problem.  But he is always there.

I’m so tired of being a seesaw Christian.  Filled with faith one minute.  Wracked with worry the next. It’s exhausting. It isn’t fun. I hate it. And it MAKES NO SENSE!!! God has shown himself faithful so many times.  When I start to worry, I think of the Children of Israel on their way to the Promise Land.  They saw the Red Sea part, they saw water flowing from a rock, they saw God’s presence in the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night.  They witnessed great miracles, and yet when it came time to enter the Promise Land, they were worried and afraid. I can relate, and I’m ashamed that I do.  God is so awesome.  He is so loving and kind.  Why would he bring me this far to drop me? Why wouldn’t he take me all the way? Who cares if there are waterspouts, sharks, and piranhas?  Who cares if I’m out of my comfort zone? Jesus is right beside me, and he’s more than capable of protecting me from giant squid.

When I keep my eyes on Jesus, I feel peace.  When I take them off, I feel anxiety. So what is the answer to my worry problem?  STOP FOCUSING ON THE PROBLEM AND START FOCUSING ON JESUS. What more needs to be said? It’s a simple solution, but it’s so hard to implement. Gratefully, I don’t have to try to implement it alone.  Jesus is right beside me. All I have to do is stop looking at the circling sharks and pray, “Oh, Lord, please help me keep my eyes on you today!”

A Tooth and an Unexpected Trip

Danele J Rotharmel

Dear Friends,
Have I told you lately that God is AMAZING??? While I was in quarantine, I couldn’t go to the dentist, and over the last few years, I’ve been having problems with a tooth. I knew I’d have to address the problem sooner or later, but after all these years, my old dentist retired and I had no idea who to see. I was also worried that the smells of a dental office could make me sick and that I could react badly to Novocain. Needless to say, I’ve been putting the issue on the back burner. Well, a couple of days after witnessing what happened to Fred (see the post “A Frog Named Fred” from September 5, 2015), I bit down on something and nearly went through the roof. Rather than subsiding, the pain continued all through the night. I smeared Orajel on my tooth and had my family pray. During the night, I heard the soft, silent voice of the Lord saying that everything would be okay—but to my analytical mind that message wasn’t very comforting. After all, would it be okay BEFORE or AFTER I went through a painful dental procedure???

Oh, friends! I wish I could stand up and say I was a mountain of faith, but I was actually a puddle of worry. I hoped the pain would be gone when I woke up, but it wasn’t. It hurt when I drank cold water. It hurt when I sucked in a breath of air. I knew I was sunk. One of my relatives recommended a local dentist, and I made an appointment. Over the phone, they said they would fill the cavity immediately unless I needed a root canal. (The dreaded RC!!). I had my family pray again, and I felt God’s peace. I felt God say that he would give me the strength I needed. (Again, not very comforting to someone facing the drill). About an hour before I went, the pain began to subside. When I arrived at the office, my peace flew out the window and worry crept back in. Although there wasn’t a smell in the office that was making me sick, I was still worried about Novocain. They took X-rays and then the dentist began to poke around on my tooth. I held my breath waiting to see if I was facing the dreaded drill or the more-dreaded RC. After a bit more poking, the dentist said that there simply wasn’t a problem with any of my teeth. ((( !!!!!!! ))) I was so shocked. She showed me the X-rays and let me watch in a mirror while she poked and prodded. I was so amazed. I looked at her and said, “I had my family pray. Do you think God healed me? Do you think he gave me a miracle?” Looking back on it, I have to laugh. I didn’t even stop to wonder if she believed in God. I was just so shocked that I was blabbering without a filter. I kept telling the dentist, “I just don’t believe it! We prayed, and I think God healed me.” I was so flabbergasted that I wasn’t thinking about anything other than how astonished I was, and how good God was! Did God heal my tooth?? Friends, I really think he did. I would have rather eaten DIRT than go to the dentist that day. I only went because I was in PAIN! (Big capital-letter pain). Then the pain left, and I saw X-ray evidence that my tooth was healthy. I still can’t believe it!! I was praying for the smells of the dental office not to make me sick and for the drill not to hurt too much. I didn’t expect for the dentist to clean my teeth and send me home. God is SO WONDERFUL!!! I am constantly amazed by this wonderful God that we serve!! Just as frosting on the cake, around this time, a friend of mine sent me a blue dragonfly necklace in the mail. Talk about a timely gift!

Now, what makes things even more amazing is that a few days after I went to the dentist, I received word that the field next to my house was going to be sprayed by airplane. The spray was a strong pesticide, and people were warned to stay out of the field for at least two days.  For someone with multi-chemical sensitivity, that meant immediate evacuation. I didn’t have much time, so I threw things in the car and took off.  I wasn’t sure where I was going, and I couldn’t make reservations because I didn’t know which hotel cleansers I’d be able to tolerate.  If it hadn’t been for witnessing the miracle with Fred, and for experiencing the healing of my tooth, I would have been a nervous wreak. As it was, I relaxed and enjoyed the unexpected trip.  Can you guess where I ended up??? The Grand Canyon.  Can you believe it? Just a couple of years ago, I couldn’t even go to the supermarket, and now, I’m able to travel across the country.

Friends, my heart is filled with gratitude to God!  He’s been with me every step of the way. Yes, my illness was painful and hard.  And yes, seven years of quarantine were difficult to bear.  But God saw me through. I love how God sends us little love notes.  He knew my unexpected evacuation would be frightening, and so he stepped in and let a frog and a tooth show me that he knows EXACTLY what’s going on and that he’s in control. During my illness, I doubted God, I yelled at God, I ignored God, and I finally ended up believing in him completely. I’m so glad that God never gives up on us.  I’m so glad that he is always reaching out in love.  I’m so glad that he really, TRULY cares!

Danele Rotharmel 1