“More than anything, it’s our choices that define us. So many times I’m awed by Christ’s choices–to stop and listen to one person when the whole world was clamoring for His attention, to stay put when I would have skittered around inefficiently, to confront when I would have hid, to be kind when I would have resorted to harsh words. By His actions, Christ teaches me that choices are not the same thing as circumstances.
My circumstances this past year have included some serious medical challenges for my son–and by inclusion, our entire family. Now, medical challenges make me break out in hives (pun intended). I’m a control freak–maybe that’s why I write those types of characters so vividly–and medicine is not the native habitat of control freaks. Let’s simply say God’s been working on my character. This, if you haven’t already experienced it, is not fun. I can’t control fevers, or test results, or long waits or the whole “we’ll just have to wait and see” that has been our journey–and quite frankly, it’s making me nuts.
I choose, however, to try and embrace it as much as I can. I make friends with the providers and staff my son and I come across. I learn their names and call them by name whenever I can. I count blessings. I hunt down silver linings. I knit soft fuzzy things while in waiting rooms. I celebrate every tiny goal I can get my hands on. In our house, a blood draw gets you a trip to Dairy Queen, period. Even if it’s dinnertime.
Shallow? Maybe. I’m aware that most of what I do to cope wouldn’t qualify as much more than a parlor trick. But I’ve found that if you pile up enough of those tiny blessings, you plant the seeds of courage and strength. You install the counterbalance to fear and invite the fragrance of grace. For I believe that grace is grown and given, never earned or stuffed into place.
In BLUEGRASS CHRISTMAS, Mary Thorpe learns that grace means trusting others with who we really are–weaknesses and all. She thinks her new neighbors will run her out of Middleburg once they know her secret. Yet, as a new believer, she’s still learning how God’s grace smoothes over the friction between us and builds opportunity where we would normally see disaster. The Prince of Peace can always redeem Christmas, even when we’ve made a royal mess of things.
Perhaps most especially when we’ve made a royal mess of things.”
An avid knitter, coffee junkie, and devoted chocoholic, Allie Pleiter writes both fiction and non-fiction. The enthusiastic but slightly untidy mother of two, Allie spends her days writing books, doing laundry, running carpools, and finding new ways to avoid housework. She grew up in Connecticut, holds a BS in Speech from Northwestern University, spent fifteen years in the field of professional fundraising, and currently lives in suburban Chicago, Illinois. The “dare from a friend” to begin writing nine years ago has given rise to a career spanning two parenting books, eight novels including the multi-nominated MY SO-CALLED LOVE LIFE, and various national speaking engagements on faith, women’s issues, and writing.
BACK COVER COPY:
#4 In the KENTUCKY CORNERS Series
ISBN 13# 978-0-373-87556-6
An Old Fashioned Christmas…
That’s what led new believer Mary Thorpe to start over in quaint Middleburg, Kentucky. As director of the church’s Christmas pageant, Mary’s job is to bring the townspeople together, to remind them what the season is really about. But everyone is all riled up over one very handsome man: the man daring to run against Middleburg’s popular long-standing mayor. Mac MacCarthy wants change. Mary wants things to stay as they are. Is there a happy medium? Both Mac and Mary are in for one very big Christmas surprise.