Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘birth’

I received a very special gift this past week. It might not seem wonderful to others, but I absolutely love it. I am looking at it now as it sits beside my desk – and even as I do, I feel blessed all over again. So … it is just an old chair, some might say! The cover looks a little worn and ‘pre-loved’ and is in need of being tacked on again in one spot, while the seat itself is definitely lumpy in places. And yet I chose it from my dear friend’s possessions above other things that were freely offered to me.

My friend wanted me to have something of hers with all her heart before she moves out of her very large, old home – and I did not want to disappoint her. Besides, I was delighted at the thought of having something to remember the many times we had met there together. This dear friend has been my ‘spiritual companion’ for a long time now – I know I would not have achieved what I have in my writing journey these past few years, were it not for her wisdom, support and encouragement. But what would be best, we wondered, as we sat drinking our favourite Lady Grey tea and reminiscing? Perhaps one of her precious, old books or some cuttings from the wonderful array of treasured plants in her cottage garden? Or perhaps something else I had admired over the years?

We wandered then along the winding path towards the tiny chapel her husband built many years ago. We stepped across the threshold and I gazed around – this truly was a sacred space that had been lovingly set aside and used for prayer and worship through the years by men and women from a variety of backgrounds. Again my friend asked if there was anything I would like and I shook my head. But then she lifted a cover off an old chair that stood in one corner – and I knew this was what I wanted.

I carefully carried the chair to my car, but whichever way I manoeuvred it, it would not fit in the boot. As a last resort, I flung open the back door and tried sliding it in there – and to my surprise, it fitted perfectly.

My friend and I flung our arms around each other. We were both so happy – she, that she could give me something that had been a precious part of worship for her for so long, and I, that this old chair would continue to be used well by those I now talk and pray with. I am honoured to have it in my study. It symbolises to me all the richness of the loving relationship my friend and I have enjoyed – and beyond that, the relationship of love and grace that God holds out to me – and hopefully to any who may come to talk and pray.

God’s presence is not dependent on particular chairs or any other piece of furniture, I know. But at this stage of the year when tiredness seems to have taken hold, it is so good to have a tangible reminder nearby of the one who is always with me, who knows my heart, who knows everything I have tried to achieve this past year, who knows all the coming year holds and who says to me lovingly: ‘Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.’ (John 14:27)

May God bless you too with deep peace as you celebrate the birth of our Saviour Jesus, the Prince of Peace!

Read Full Post »

No, I am definitely not some ‘miracle mum’ giving birth in my ripe old age to a real flesh and blood baby!  I already have three beautiful children and two equally beautiful granddaughters.  Nevertheless, this whole process of launching another book into the world does feel like giving birth all over again – especially when the book concerned has the very personal name of ‘Laura’.

Yes, my third novel will officially enter the world on Sunday 13th September at 2.00pm!  If you would actually like to be present on the occasion of Laura’s ‘birth’, please feel free to leave a comment on this blog, or to contact me via my website, www.jo-anneberthelsen.com for further information.  

Also on my website, you will find I am offering a special deal for any who want to purchase ‘Laura’ prior to her actual ‘birth’ on 13th.  Yes, I am selling ‘clones’ of my new baby for the very reasonable postage-free price of twenty dollars – but only for this strictly limited period.  After all, one has to draw the line somewhere.

Seriously though – this ‘birth’ has definitely been one of my more prolonged.  While the initial writing of ‘Laura’ did take around nine months, just like any normal pregnancy, the actual ‘germ’ of the idea for this novel came fifteen years ago when I first met my friend Heather.  It was she who unintentionally inspired me to create my ‘Laura’, who in her turn became almost a real person in her own right to me.  There were many puzzling, frustrating moments along the way, however, as ‘Laura’ grew inside me – times when I spent hours searching for exactly the right information about becoming blind, about education for blind students, about artificial eyes, about so many things.  At one stage I almost aborted the whole idea – it just seemed too difficult a book to write well and with integrity.  But by then I had grown very attached to my Laura – and I so much wanted her to push through all the difficulties confronting her and to make a safe entrance into the world.

And now here she is at last – after a ‘pregnancy’ lasting around three years all up!  While the original writing took around nine months, since then there have been many re-writes and many periods of waiting for my publisher to say ‘yes’ and to put the final touches on my ‘baby’.  So it is with great joy and no little relief that I can finally say, with great thanks to God …  WELCOME TO ‘LAURA’!

Read Full Post »