Jenny Knipfer–Author

Writing to inspire, encourage, and enjoy

The cast of characters for my upcoming historical mystery novel, By Broken Birch Bay, revolves around two sisters, Honey and Petra. Besides writing in the sisters’ perspectives, I also write in the perpetrator’s perspective. The person who commits the crime remained faceless and anonymous for me until the very end. Look over the images below to read about the three of them and their thoughts early on in the novel.

Some of my other characters include :

Luke Livingston, Petra and Honey’s father

A parent should never play favorites, but Luke seems to favor Honey, though Petra is actually more like him—determined, stubborn, and hard-working. He can’t seem to totally forgive Petra for leaving their hometown and coming back unwed with a child in tow. But Luke is not perfect—and no parent is—and leads him to intervene in Petra’s life when he shouldn’t.

Polly Livingston, the sisters’ mother and Luke’s wife

In the beginning, Polly comes off cold toward Honey. The favoritism is reversed with Polly where Honey is concerned, and Polly can’t reconcile the fact that Honey is marrying a man she doesn’t approve of. The family tension grows throughout the story, coming to ahead several times, leaving the reader wondering if the family troubles will ever be resolved.

Jeb Spangler, Honey’s fiance

Jeb is a handsome, rough fisherman who is often temperamental but also has a large heart, which is perhaps why Honey fell for him in the first place. In the time period his male driven dominance is not out of the ordinary, but the reader can’t help but want Honey to assert herself more in their relationship. The narrative tends to slant Jeb in a less than flattering light at first, until some of his background is revealed, and the reader can establish some sympathy for him.

Don De Muir, Petra’s love interest

Quietly handsome but yet confident older Don won’t take no for an answer and pursues Petra as she works in the local diner. He’s kind, a man of faith, and has his own business, but most importantly he’s taken to Petra son, Jefferson. But the path of love may lead him to places he had not expected.

Roxanne (Roxy) Pheland, Honey’s best friend

Roxy is beautiful, and she knows it. Vain, funny, vivacious, and a risk taker, Roxy is not afraid to express herself or press on boundaries. She appears to genuinely care for Honey, opposites though they may be. Roxy adds some spark, spunk, and controversy to the story.

An excerpt from the second chapter, featuring dialogue between Polly and Honey:

August 1924
Broken Birch Bay

For the hundred-millionth time, Honey sent up a prayer of gratitude for Petra being back at home. Honey had grieved when her sister had left eight years ago. Petra had firmly stated, “I’m moving on to bigger and better things than what our quiet life here by Broken Birch Bay can offer, Kiddo, but we’ll stay in touch. Don’t ya worry. And someday I’ll send for you.” Petra had wrapped her sisterly arms around thin, fifteen-year-old Honey, engulfing her in a tight hug.

Well, “someday” hadn’t materialized, but Honey had been okay with that. She loved everything about the bay, their home, and Lake Superior. Her one dissatisfaction had been her sister’s absence from her life. But now, with Petra’s return, things would be different. Hopefully, a better kind of different.

And then there was Jeb. Life had patched the hole in her heart with two people for the price of one. Jeb had put a ring on her finger last month, and they planned to marry by Christmas. At this point in time, life couldn’t look more positive for Honey.

Mom called from the back door. “Got all them clothes hung up?”

Honey called back, “Yes, Mom,” and clipped the last pin on a pair of her father’s jean overalls, hung over the clothesline in the middle of the backyard. Smoothing her clover-honey- colored hair—her namesake—behind her ear, Honey stooped to pick up the empty basket, wet clothes snapping and flapping against her side in the breeze off the lake.

Mom shaded her gray eyes, the same shade as Petra’s, from the noonday sun. Her daisy-printed, white and blue apron bustled in the air around her thin hips, echoing the wet clothes.
“What about Dad’s patch pair of pants? I had to scrub those extra hard and left them on the wringer.”
Honey clutched the empty basket to the side of her body and stepped lively toward the white, clapboard house with green trim, her long legs making short work of the distance.

“Yep. All done,” she told Mom.
Honey and Petra differed drastically in stature and hair color. Petra’s hair burned a burnished red, and her petite frame stood four inches shorter than Honey. Their faces were similar, though, with fine bones, evenly set eyes, and mouths that took up half their faces. That trait had come from Dad’s side of the family. The portrait of Dad with his siblings evidenced the fact that they all had smiles large enough to put a sausage and bun in sideways.

“Mr. Spangler coming for lunch?”
Mom emphasized Jeb’s name and narrowed her fine brows down, not exactly hiding her displeasure. Honey couldn’t understand her mother’s hesitancy when it came to Jeb. After they’d gotten engaged, Mom hadn’t uttered a word of congratulations but in private had offered, “Are you sure? There’s somethin’ I don’t trust about that boy.”

Dad had been all for the match. “Long as he takes care of my little girl, I’ll be happy.”

Honey climbed the few steps to the back entrance to the house. “He said he might, if they get back in time.” Jeb had gone out with his uncle on his fishing trolley, hoping to catch some haddock. “Might bring us back some fish too.”
Honey smiled, hoping to put Jeb in Mom’s good graces.

Mom didn’t crack a smile in return. “Hmm. Well, we’ll see, won’t we?”

Honey rolled her eyes and walked past Mom into the kitchen.
Really? Would it kill her to give Jeb a little credit?
She plonked the empty basket down on the table and turned to her mother, one hand on her hip and a sassy tone in her voice. “Anything else?”

“Don’t get your feathers in a flutter.” Mom let the screen door bang behind her and said in an even tone, “That’s all for now. I’ll call you when I need help with lunch. Got the pie made, just need to get the main dish together.”

Honey nodded, swiveling on her heel and marching to retrieve a novel from her room to get her mind off her frustration with her mother. She trailed her finger along the spines of the books on her bookshelves, waiting for one to grab her attention. Honey’s index finger stopped at Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw. For some reason a gothic novel appealed to her at the moment. She knew the gist of the story but hadn’t ever read it. Plucking it off the shelf, she cozied herself on the window seat Dad had made her. She always felt rather like Charlotte Bronte’s neglected and ill-treated Jane Eyre, curled up as she was on the cushioned, tapestry-covered seat. A couple of pages in, Honey let the book drift down to her lap. Something unsettled her, and she couldn’t concentrate on the words.

What is it? What’s the matter with me?
Still the same thing: Mom’s lack of enthusiasm for Jeb. What was it that she didn’t like about him?

Thanks for reading!

As always, thanks for reading my humble words and stories. Blessings on your day! J

I promised to share a little bit about one of my main characters, Honey, in my upcoming historical mystery, By Broken Birch Bay. Honey is tall, blonde, mild mannered and almost the exact opposite of her sister, Petra.

The sisters had grown up close, but when Petra had moved away, a part of Honey had gone with her.


August 1924
Broken Birch Bay
For the hundred-millionth time, Honey sent up a prayer of gratitude for Petra being back at home. Honey had grieved when her sister had left eight years ago. Petra had firmly stated, “I’m moving on to bigger and better things than what our quiet life here by Broken Birch Bay can offer, Kiddo, but we’ll stay in touch. Don’t ya worry. And someday I’ll send for you.” Petra had wrapped her sisterly arms around thin, fifteen-year-old Honey, engulfing her in a tight hug.
Well, “someday” hadn’t materialized, but Honey had been okay with that. She loved everything about the bay, their home, and Lake Superior. Her one dissatisfaction had been her sister’s absence from her life. But now, with Petra’s return, things would be different. Hopefully, a better kind of different.
And then there was Jeb. Life had patched the hole in her heart with two people for the price of one. Jeb had put a ring on her finger last month, and they planned to marry by Christmas. At this point in time, life couldn’t look more positive for Honey.


Life seems to have a way of throwing us some big surprises when the road seems smooth and straight forward. And Honey will find that out all too soon.


Thanks for reading! J

Happy #ThankfulThursday. It’s a cool misty autumn morning here in Wisconsin, my favorite kind. My mini Yorkie Ruby and I are tucked up in my recliner right now. She’s curled in a little ball on my lap, and I am drinking a cup of tea and talking with you.

However, the morning didn’t start out too well for me as I fell in the kitchen trying to get myself some breakfast. Thankfully, my son was at home yet and helped me get up. Though getting to my feet these days is itself a feat.

I don’t have the strength to pull myself up, and for someone lifting me, it’s just a lot of deadweight. So he pulled me over to the few steps we have leading down into the mudroom, and I dangled my legs over them to get some footing. Then with his help I was able to stand, though it was a lot more difficult this time. I don’t know how much longer I’m going to be able to do that. I’ll probably have to call emergency services the next time I fall. 

But for today, I am thankful that I didn’t badly hurt myself and that I’m safe and warm.

🍁What about this particular day are you thankful for?


I recently enjoyed reading this historical fiction novel by an author friend of mine, Dawn Klinge.

Palmer Girl, About the book:

Elizabeth Nordman accompanies her wealthy parents to Chicago. Her father is set to work on a project for the 1893 World’s Fair, staying at the illustrious Palmer Hotel. When Elizabeth, who becomes known as The Palmer girl, seeks employment for her flower design skills at Marshall Field’s department store, she meets humble John Lewis, Field’s talented window display designer.

John and Elizabeth become friends with the inclination of deeper feelings, though another man, determined to gain Elizabeth’s hand, threatens their relationship. But the difference in John and Elizabeth’s social and financial standings weaves a wedge in between the would-be lovers as well.

Will John and Elizabeth conquer the obstacles in their way to love and build a potential life together, or will outside forces and hard times cause too much of a rift between them?

Palmer Girl transports the reader back in time to the late 19th century in an easy and believable way. Klinge’s writing is clean, focusing on the characters and their interpersonal relationships while also constructing the scenes to give the reader a sense of place. Elizabeth and John’s romance is slow, sweet, and yet dotted with enough tension to give the story dimension, becoming a lovely all-around read. I particularly liked the floral design aspect, as I worked as a floral designer in a local flower shop for many years.

Thanks for reading! Have a blessed day, J

It’s cover reveal day for my last novel in my sheltering trees series, By Broken Birch Bay. I have always wanted to write a mystery and at the heart that’s what this novel is, but it didn’t quite come out like a regular mystery would have. Even I was kept in the dark as to who commits manslaughter in the end.

I start each chapter with ambiguous diary entries from someone in prison. They could be the father or mother of the main characters—sisters Honey and Petra—one of them, a boyfriend, or a friend… Who will it be? Let me tell you, the guilty party surprised even me!



Set in the early twentieth century, single mother, Petra Livingston, and her young son, Jefferson, have come home to Broken Birch Bay, Minnesota braving the town gossips over her sordid past. 

Spurred by contention with her dad, Petra takes a job at a local cafe, working for her independence and meets Don De Muir, who worms his way into her heart—which she swore she’d never give away again.

Thrilled to have her ally and sister, Petra, back home, Honey sets aside her mom’s disappointment in her and plans her wedding to a local fisherman, Jeb Spangler, a man with a broken past and a temper. However, as the time draws near, Honey gets cold feel, reevaluating her feelings for Jeb. 

Will Petra allow Don past her defenses? Will Honey and Jeb move forward into their future or be derailed by what comes between them? Will it be one of the sisters, a boyfriend, or a parent who lifts their hand to protect another, taking a life in the process?

Told in a split-timeline of prison diary entries and narrative, fans of Christian mystery, Christian historical fiction, and clean romance will relish this unique mystery.

The opening lines of the narrative are in the graphic. Here, we meet Petra, one of the main characters. She is short with red hair, a little spunky and a little broken. She hopes for a fresh start for her and her son in her hometown of Broken Birch Bay, but her own fears and difficulties with her parents hold her back.

Next time…

I‘ll introduce Honey, her sister and exact opposite.

Thanks for reading! J

I actually had time to read a few books this month so far. The first was a historical fiction novel by an Australian author I am friends with on Instagram, the second a juvenile/young adult fiction book that was written by a sweet friend of mine from Estonia. I hadn’t realized when I begin this author journey how many friends I would make around the world. It has been a rich and unexpected blessing.

Dare Not Tell

By Elaine Schroller

On the Western Front during WWI, Aussie Joe Parker leaves behind his son and wife to fight. Through battle after battle he tricks death while his friends succumb. He struggles with how to manage the reality of the atrocities he’s seen and committed until by chance he meets a young war nurse, Sophie Holt. 

Joe and Sophie are drawn toward each other and end up writing one another. Joe can’t tell his wife the things that he can open up to Sophie about. Eventually, the war and circumstances drive them apart, until Joe makes an effort to find Sophie and tell her how he feels. But will it be too late, and if not, how could he ensure that Sophie would love him through everything he has been through? Everything he has done. 

The story continues on many years later through sorrows and joys for both of them before coming to an end shortly before the drums of WWII start. With a mystery they uncover in the French Alps, Joe must face his past and the secrets he holds, one last time. 

Do Joe and Sophie build a lasting life together, or will their relationship be one more casualty of The Great War? 

Scholler weaves an in-depth and touching tale of WWI from an Australian’s perspective and etches a fated loved story that is saga-worthy, painting each scene richly in the telling. Dare Not Tell is a refreshing take on wartime drama, told in an easy style that draws the reader in. A wonderful portrayal and glimpse into the psyche of a soldier and the woman who loves him. 

Note: for those sensitive to swearing and violence, you will find some of both in the story.

A Sweet Scent

by Ksenia Sein

A promise. An adventure. A treasure hunt.

Author Ksenia Sein creates an engaging and meaningful adventure tale in A Sweet Scent. Perfect for late middle grade to early young adult readers, the story weaves around Lara, who deeply misses her grandfather. He is the one person who she thinks really understood her. That special bond had never been there with her grandmother, a mystic woman of herbs and teas. 

Lara is desperate to seek a special gem her grandfather told her about, and with the unlikely help of her—up until then—distant grandmother, the two set out to find it. Memories, dreams, faith-filled inspiration, and a little element resembling magic, all work to help the granddaughter and grandmother duo in their search for what they seek. 

But will the trail of clues lead to the promised treasure that Laura was told about or amount to little more than fiction? And if she and her granny find it, will it resemble something more deep than she could have ever imagined? 

Kudos to Sein for instilling the story with excitement and the fragrance of love, crafting a sweet story that can be enjoyed by readers of any age. The lovely fragrance of family, faith, and adventure combine and seep through A Sweet Scent, which I’m sure will inspire readers to seek out and discover true treasure of their own.

What books have you read this month?

Thanks for reading my reviews! J

Autumn approaches and with it my favorite time of year. I loved going for a walk this time of year and looking at all the changing things along the path: the green ivy that had turned red, the fuzzy heads of milkweed, the distant hills dotted with color. The simple movement and motion of my legs and arms, along with my lungs working with them to propel me forward relaxed me. I also enjoyed the companionable presence of my dog at my side. I often prayed as I walked. This was a natural pairing of two things I took joy in and that brought me life.

Now, with my MS I can no longer go for a walk and enjoy the things I once did. My longing to do so is deepest at this time of year, and I am unashamed to say that I grieve a little and that’s OK. But instead of wallowing in sadness I decided to write a poem about it. I hope you enjoy this little glimpse into how I remember see myself going for a walk.

There She Goes

See her

She was you, once, walking

Into an open day, with open hands

Feet and legs, taking her anywhere she wants to

Glorying in simple motion, her dog at her side

There she goes…


Watch her move

Fluid, rhythmic, propelling

Along a path ahead, and with it freedom 

Stepping forward, limbs doing, not thinking

Simply present in the moment

There she goes…


Breathe with her

In and out, drinking 

Fresh country air, no filter needed

Lungs expanding and contracting, effortless, 

Life-giving functionality 

There she goes…


Look through her eyes

A world, living

Gem green grass, colorful trees, robin’s egg-blue sky

All slowly changing, growing, with her in its midst

Feeling small but yet a part of it all

There she goes…


Listen with her ears

Sounds humming, ringing

Both loud, then soft

Dragonfly’s wings fluttering, leaves rustling in the breeze, a hawk screeching

A symphony all its own

There she goes…


Hear her whispered words

Praise, thanks, supplication

Blending together, sending

Her thoughts toward God

With each step her heart emptier but also fuller

There she goes…


Sniff deeply with her

A warm subtle sweetness, nostrils flaring

Wildflowers on the hill, blooming 

Bright zinnias, blue cornflowers, fuzzy-stemmed black-eyed Susan’s 

Nature’s beautiful bits of joy

There she goes…


Touch what she does

Her hand out, palm down, grazing 

The tip of her dog’s tail, tickling her

Then fingertips extended,

brushing by blades of grass—razor sharp, thick veined, smooth oak leaves, downy milkweed

All a veritable trove of textures

There she goes…


Feel the sun on her face

Its bright rays, stretching 

across skin and shadow

Bringing warmth and happiness 

Filling her with renewed energy and the sense of a heavenly kiss 

There she goes…


Walk with her


Glory in movement once again

Be immersed in God’s creation, letting it bring you…


There she goes…

(C) Jenny Knipfer 2022

Thanks for reading! J

I haven’t written in over a month, except for social posts and my blog. I took a much needed break, but the weird thing was that the longer the break stretched out, the more getting back in the writing saddle seemed too exhausting. This in a life where simply taking care of myself tires me out.

But yet that voice… it speaks again. Last night I wrote the opening to my second fairy tale, The Wildest Rose, my retelling of Sleeping Beauty. I‘m not sure if I will ever finish or publish this one—the way my health is going—but here’s hoping.


1473 Evermoor

In my dreams I see him, his hand held out, palm up with a rose thorn protruding from his index finger like a freakish fingernail. Though I want to, I cannot resist moving towards him. He is the moon, and I am the tides. My dark wavy hair flutters behind me in the air, as graceful as fish fins in water, and tickles my neck with each step forward.

His eyes, the color of walnut dye, are not unkind but bore into mine until I look away and fix them on the thorn again—the foretold means of my death. Sweat beads on my lip as my hand reaches towards his extended one, my fingertip only inches away from the thorn. I try to pull back, but my arm is immovable. Fated, like me.

It was foretold that I’d die today, on my twenty-first birthday. I’ve heard whisperings of it from the lips of my three aunts when they hadn’t thought I was listening, but never was there a man in this fortelling. Where has he come from? And where will he take me? Into the light or into the shadow?

He speaks, and my ears strain to hear his words, “Do not be afraid.”

But I am petrified.

My eyes shift to the thorn again. Where has it come from? All the rose bushes in Evermoor have been burned. Cut asunder. Forbidden and utterly outlawed. I have never even seen a rose other than depicted in works of art, carvings, or an illuminated text. I have imagined them, of course, and Aunt Tansy has spun me a story or two about them, despite Aunt Bella and Aunt Iris’s protests.

I sense the prick of the tip of the thorn is imminent. A cry of protest rises in my throat, but it does not come forth. My voice is trapped. Caged. Suddenly, pain bursts through my finger, and with it I succeed in screaming. Then my eyes flash open, and it takes me some seconds before I realize I am in my bed in the loft room of the cabin in the woods I share with my aunts and am still alive, for the present, at least.

Thank The Light!

The hammering of my heart becomes slower, and I roll on my side, taking in the red blush of dawn through the leaded glass windowpane.

Does the color of the sky signal my death as much as the dream I’ve just had? I hope not. I am not ready to die, but then I suppose no one is…

Thanks for reading!

Thanks for reading the start to my next story. Please pray for me as I continue.
Blessings, J

Another of my book babies (this is number nine so far) has entered the world. 🙂 I’m thrilled to announce that my third novel in my Sheltering Trees series, On Bur Oak Ridge, releases today! Also as a bonus, the first book In a Grove of Maples is free on Kindle now through July 31st.

A bit about On Bur Oak Ridge:

“The plot has its twists and turns to keep readers intrigued…to the very end. A great comfort read that will soothe the spirit with renewed hope and faith.Readers’ Favorite five-star review 


In the early 1900s, quiet and reserved Molly Lund finds refuge from her past at the Nelsons’ farm in Minnesota. In an attempt to turn a new page in her life, Molly works at making peace with her losses and coming to terms with the disfiguring burns on her face. 

Samuel Woodson, the Nelsons’ hired hand, carries his own cares. Split from his family and bearing a burden of misplaced guilt for an act that haunts him, Samuel–seeing past Molly’s scars–draws her out of her self-protective shell. 

Molly and Samuel form a friendship, but just as their hearts lead them deeper, an unexpected guest comes calling, demanding what’s his. 

Will Molly and Samuel find a way to be together or will they be separated, due to impediments beyond their control? Can they trust in God’s plan and travel a path that heals the hurts of the past?  

Readers of historical fiction, Christian historical fiction, and Christian historical romance will delight in this beautifully wrought story of the healing power of love. 

“A heartwarming story of healing from external and internal scars. Through some of life’s harder lessons the characters learn to trust, forgive, and find second chances out of the ashes of pain and loss.” 

Anne Perreault, author of eighteen inspirational novels, including the Yellowstone series

“A beautifully written portrait of the past, and dramatic historical fiction at its best. A slow-burning romance with dual narration for a fully immersive experience. This story feels archetype, unfolding with exquisite execution.” Self-Publishing Review, five-star review

About In a Grove of Maples:

… a heartfelt tale of the struggles of married life on a nineteenth-century farm. Edward and Beryl are both relatable and sympathetic. Knipfer expertly captures the emotion and stress of their lives and relationship. It’s a touching and realistic portrayal of love, loss, and friendship.” Heather Stockard for Readers’ Favorite five-star review


In 1897 newly married Beryl and Edward Massart travel more than one thousand miles from Quebec to farm a plot of land in Wisconsin that they bought sight-unseen. An almost magical grove of maples on their property inspires them to dream of a real home built within the grove, not the tiny log cabin they’ve come to live in. 

Misunderstandings and tempers get the better of them when difficulties and troubles arise. Just months after they wed, Edward leaves pregnant Beryl in the midst of the coming winter to tend the farm and animals while he goes to be a teamster at a northern Wisconsin logging camp. 

Will Beryl and Edward walk into the future together to build their house of dreams in the grove of maples, or will their plans topple like a house of sticks when the winds of misunderstanding and disaster strike?

Readers of Christian historical fiction, Historical fiction, Women’s fiction, and Christian historical romance will be endeared to this slice of late 19th century farm life. 

Editorial reviews:

“In a Grove of Maples presents a fascinating look at what life was like for a young couple starting out on their own and how necessary it was to have friends and neighbors that you could call on for help. Even though the book is set in the late 19th century, the struggles Edward and Beryl have in their marriage are things many people deal with today.” — Kristine Zimmerman for Readers’ Favorite five-star review

“Dramatic character development and lavish descriptive language make Knipfer’s prose shine, and carry this emotionally stirring plot from start to finish. The storytelling is casual but unmistakably aged, and the research into this particular time period is remarkable, while the variation in narrative format keeps the story engaging throughout.” — Self-Publishing Review four and a half-star review

“Readers of women’s fiction and Christian historical romance will find In a Grove of Maples an engrossing story of 19th century rural life that examines matters of heart, ethics, morality, and belief as Beryl faces a new world with few resources other than her faith and love. It concludes with an unexpected twist that comes full circle to leave the door open for more.” — D. Donavon for Midwest Book Review

Thank you!

Thank you for following my writing journey! If you’ve read and enjoyed my books, please recommend them to friends and family. If you’ve not read my books, I hope you will enjoy your free copy of In a Grove of Maples and the start to the Sheltering Trees series.

Happy Reading! J

My younger self, telling me to be brave

 I am half a century old. That fact is strange to me. I don’t feel that old, but yet my body often tells me I have reached that mile marker and much more. Reflecting back, I consider the question: what have I done in my fifty years? As if life is all about what a person accomplishes. But isn’t it more than that? 

Growing up a farmer’s daughter makes me think of the analogy of planting seeds, tending the fruit of one’s labor, and harvesting the produce. What seeds have I planted in these five decades? I’d like to think I have sprinkled grace, kindness, encouragement, faith, and love in the soil of other’s lives. I wish to leave a harvest of good things behind me when I’m gone. Even if I pass out of memory in the future generations, I hope I will live on because those seeds will continue to grow and bloom in the lives of others far past my lifetime. Those things never have an expiration date. I take comfort in that—leaving something good in the trail of my brief, vaporous existence on this Earth. 

Two tintype pictures rest on my bookshelves of people no one in my husband’s family remembers anymore. It saddens me to know these lives have been forgotten. Who were they? What was their story? I guess I’ll never know, but I like to believe the seeds they have sown in their lifetime pass on in a perennial cycle. As I hope mine will.

However, the idea of only leaving good things in our wake is fantasy. We also influence those who come after us with our failings. Our sins. But God. Because of His working in my life I can, hopefully, transfer more good than not, for He is goodness itself, and His Spirit is in me. None of us have any goodness apart from Him. And if we believe we do and reflect that goodness, it’s only because we are made in His image. I pray that my shortcomings will not take root in the lives of those to come. I hold to the promise that God will bless my children and their children for many generations because I’ve chosen to honor and love Him.

Still, with my declining health, the direction of my life often appears to me like a downward spiral staircase, rather than an upward one, in which I gradually lose everything, but I know that’s not true. It’s a lie. I will never lose His love or the things He has grown in my life. You might ask—how can I believe in God’s goodness and love in a life lived with the debilitating disease of MS? Because I have faith that He can bring purpose and meaning to what I cannot.

In my ponderings this month, I’ve come to the conclusion that this life is not about our monetary or personal achievements but about the way our lives have touched others and about our relationship with God. When we die I believe the only things we can take with us are hope, faith and love, and really the only lasting things we can leave behind. 

Here’s to fifty years, to what we leave behind, and bravely trusting God for the future. 

Blessings, J

Me with my first book, Ruby Moon

 I have a confession to make. I have not been reading or writing much, lately. Not like I used to, every day for an hour or two. I have other things on my mind, and I don’t have or make the time. That feels weird to me to say. Characters always seem to be speaking in my head, and I’ve never not read, except for about six months, some years ago, when I was having migraines on a daily basis. Thank goodness I am past those days. But what is it that has kept me from reading? From writing?

Maybe it has to do with the fact that I’ll be turning 50 this summer, and I find myself reevaluating what I’m spending my time on. I may have very little of it left—time. At least quality, functioning time where I can actually do something. I have no idea when my MS will take more from me. It could be the slow gradual decline that I’ve been experiencing. That’s been like watching the corn grow. You know it has grown by how tall it’s gotten and how deep green and long the leaves have become, but you can’t say when it’s grown. It just has.

Or I could wake up tomorrow and have any number of terrible possibilities happen. It’s like living in an unpredictable war zone. With MS, anything the nerves govern can go awry. From eyesight and movement to bodily functions, and even the autonomic nervous system can be affected, like heart rate, blood pressure, breathing… You get the picture.

All this to say that I am rethinking how I want to spend my days, how I want to move forward, and I’m not sure if it’s continuing to write and publish books. Is that the best thing I can leave behind? Is there something else that would be better? I’m not sure yet. And I’m not sure that writing is making me as happy as it used to. Some portions of my days are spent in frustration over one thing or another in the indie publishing world. I’m becoming weary of the cost marketing has become to my wallet, my peace, and my time. I’ve decided to get through my series this year and aim for publishing my fairytale book early next year, but beyond that I cannot see. I need to pray and think about what the next few years hold for me and how I can best spend my days. 

If you have been following my writing journey, I would appreciate your prayers as I pause to consider how to move forward. 

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