This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every moring: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion saith my soul: therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for Him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD. Lamentations 3: 21-26

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A Picture of Life

...or so it seems. It's not really my picture, but you get the idea.

We've had some typical cold & flu type stuff, much due to seasonal allergies. It's hit Boo first and Roo thought it looked fun and tried it out. My husband and I decided to fight it off and have been semi-successful so far. We'll see how that really ends. School has been happening, but a little less intensely. I'm trying to let the sleep as much as possible to fight off those icky germs.

Our actual anniversary day (last Friday) was lovely. We went to Mass at 9 a.m. with the boys and our best friends and my god-daughter and afterwards, renewed our wedding vows and had our marriage blessed. We went out for brunch after. It was just one of those perfect moments in time where you want to freeze everything.

I got to wear my new outfit & my husband got a new sport coat. I was so impressed! He got it after I got my outfit. He had coordinated it with my skirt and sweater. Somehow a very sweet jewelry box with garnets and citrines got stuck in his pocket. I was just flabbergasted. I felt like a teen again.

There've been a few IRL questions about why we did everything special on our 16th anniversary--why not last year on the 15th or wait until the 20th? Well...many reasons. This year some things were very important to us that have been growing in our hearts since last year. It was something important to share with our children. Some of the "goodies" would not have been possible last year, and frankly may not be possible next year.

Why not wait until the 20th? Because we're not promised anything but the moment and each day is important. Not just the years that end in 0 and 5. Life's too short!! I'm glad we did what we did.

That evening we went to the ballet. Season tickets have been my anniversary, Christmas, birthday, Mother's Day gift for the last couple years. Many years it's been a stretch for us to do so, but it's been important for the boys and I just love it. It was fabulous. The boys were able to see a few of their teachers, both past and present, dance marvelously. We actually have improved our seating each year and this year was the best.

It was a really good weekend, in spite of increasing sniffles and sneezes for the boys. They were able to rest and enjoy most of the time. My husband and I were able to enjoy time together and lots of talking. He's a blessing.

As a bonus blessing, he's been offered a full-time position with the company he's contracted with for a while. The contractor position has been a good opportunity. I was very leery of him taking it, but he was right, and it's worked out well. The full-time position will offer us some much coveted extras on insurance that are hard to come by when one self-insures. And are "of an age."

Moving was optional. But we decided to stay. We're still not moving. In this economy, I think a full-time job and a sufficient roof over our heads is really more than a blessing. God knows where we need to be. We need to listen.

Tuesday I joined girlfriends of almost twenty years to celebrate two birthdays. We went to a restaurant that was super! Asian soups and dumplings, yum, yum!! I would have never found it on my own. Much laughter and reminiscing that can only come with relationships that have evolved over much time.

I've been reflecting on how we've all changed. The youngest of our group just turned 29 and I met her when she was 10. I won't say how old our "oldest" is...I'm somewhere in the middle.

But we've been friends through horse shows, boyfriends, surgeries, job changes, marriages, divorces, deaths, childbirths, moving, book publishings, parties and more. We've laughed, cried, disagreed, fought, made up, consoled and celebrated. We are comprised of two Catholics, three Protestants of various observance, and an agnotstic; or, a professor & author, two mommies, two successful accountants and one very creative one who should be starting her own business. Three have no children--one of those would like to be a mom; two have stepchildren--one of those also has her own child; and then there's me with two children. How different are we?

Through all of this and more driving to dance I've been trying to pack for a trip north on Sunday. I've been trying to keep up on the daily needs and school. I'm trying to start a venture that's been brewing in my heart & mind for over a year; trying to be available for some new friends...

Whew!! I'm a bit well...winded. But it's a great sort of winded. After typing all of that I sat and looked and said, "I am very blessed!"

Blog Book Tour--The Rook

The Rook is Steven James second book. His first, The Pawn was incredibly disturbing, frightening even with his ability to look into a serial killer's mind.

The Rook picks up with Special Agent Patrick Bowers trying to create a family with his step-daughter Tessa, while simultaneously working on a series of fires started by an arsonist. His wife, Tessa's mother, has been dead less than a year, after succumbing to cancer.

Tessa a volatile Goth-like teenager gives him conflicted and dishonest signals, sometimes charming and profound, sometimes surly and caustic. The developing relationship between step-child and step-parent is riveting to read, sometimes almost shadowing the crime that Bowers is trying to solve.

As with The Pawn, The Rook is chilling and dark. James leads the reader into dark and twisted minds of killers. But what began as a hint of the salvation message in the first book, becomes a cry deep within desparate souls for light. There is obviously going to be at least one more book in the series and I will be looking forward to seeing where this "thread" leads.

I received The Rook from Glass Road Public Relations. As I recommended after reading The Pawn, these books are not for the faint of heart or those who are looking for gently stories. The subject matter is gruesome. These books would definitely fall into the category of thriller.

From Baker Publishing and various reviewers:

The Rook by Steven James

Special Agent Patrick Bowers is about to uncover the military's darkest secret . . . and his own dark past.

While investigating a series of baffling fires in San Diego, Special Agent Patrick Bowers is drawn into a deadly web of intrigue where nothing is as it appears to be. With a killer on the loose and one of the world's most deadly devices missing, Bowers is caught in a race against time to stop a criminal mastermind's trap before it closes around the people he loves.

Full of fast-paced action and mind-bending plot twists, The Rook is an adrenaline-laced page-turner that will hold you captive until the very end.

Praise for The Rook

"James ratchets up the thrills and chills, the twists and turns, and our connections with the characters. This is first-class suspense, with threads of wisdom tying it all together. I'm panting for the next book already."--Eric Wilson, author of A Shred of Truth and Expiration Date

"James's ability to use modern, up-to-date investigative techniques to solve his criminal mysteries places him at the forefront of current mystery writers. [This is] a book you hate to put down even when you reach the end."--E. Cleon Glaze, retired FBI agent

"Steven James does it again! The Rook is a riveting nail-biter that takes the reader on a wild ride of suspense, thrill, and danger. James seamlessly combines the edginess of contemporary crime-solving stories with the real world struggles of romance, broken families, loss, and honor."--John Thurman, counselor and radio personality

"Steven James has certainly done his homework. His level of detail and knowledge in the area of the military characters is superb. . . . [They] almost come to life as you read his books. I could not put this one down! Top-notch work."--LT Robert Bess, US Naval Special Warfare/Naval Special Operations

"Sophomore slump? Fuhgeddaboutit. In his second thriller about FBI criminologist Patrick Bowers, James delivers the caffeinated plot twists and intriguing characterizations that made The Pawn a welcome addition to the suspense genre. In this installment, Bowers is called to San Diego to investigate a rash of fires, but he begins to suspect that a seemingly random kidnapping and suicide may be related to the arson attacks. As Bowers digs deeper, he uncovers a chilling biotech conspiracy. Fans of CSI and Law & Order will enjoy the police work and forensics, but this jacked-up read feels more like an explosive episode of 24; it's a wild ride with a shocking conclusion."--Publishers Weekly starred review

Monday, October 13, 2008

Psalm 139

1 O LORD, you have searched me
and you know me.

2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.

3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.

4 Before a word is on my tongue
you know it completely, O LORD.

5 You hem me in—behind and before;
you have laid your hand upon me.

6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.

7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?

8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.

9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,

10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.

11 If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,"

12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.

13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.

14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!

18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I awake,
I am still with you.

19 If only you would slay the wicked, O God!
Away from me, you bloodthirsty men!

20 They speak of you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name.

21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD,
and abhor those who rise up against you?

22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.

24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.