Google+ Followers

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Years Eve 2013...


This has been an extremely busy and life-changing year. I started out here: 

 

 

                        And then moved here:
 
 

And then here:

 

Talk about extreme moves…

Anyway, every year millions of people set out their goals or resolutions for the New Year. And as many millions of these people, any goals I set are usually failed before the first week is out. These goals usually consist of some materialistic endeavor we have absolutely no intention of keeping, hence our failure by first week’s end. J

 I’ve done weight loss, smoking cessation, temper control, focus on being a better wife, mother, etc… And as all humans, I have failed to meet my own expectations. Out of that list I have prevailed over the years in some areas of each one, but ultimately failed to meet my own requirements to the fullest of my imaginings. I did quit smoking…I have better control of my temper, and I’ve lost fifteen pounds in the last month and a half. But it isn’t enough. I still push myself to reach these stupid goals.

And then it hit me; I’m trying to do this on my own, and we all know how that’s going to turn-out. I can do nothing without my Lord and Savior.

Anyway, this year I’ve set a better goal, one more important than anything else I could ever seek to do, and all it requires is submission. J Sounds easy enough, right? But it isn’t.

 I’m just like every other Christian out there. If I don’t fill my brain with His Word, I’ll fill it with something else, and it’s never good. So…I’ve decided to study God’s Word more. Pray more. Seek His will more. Be more like Jesus. And witness more.

Most people who know me would tell you I talk about God all the time. I’ve even been told I talk about Him too much. Worry too much about it, and need to quit telling everybody I come into contact with for more than five minutes about Him. But those people are unbelievers, so they don’t know. They don’t realize I don’t pray like I should, or witness like I should, or read my Bible as much as I should, or submit like I should. But He died for me. I need no other catalyst to make me desire more of Him, more of everything about Him.

Let’s put it in perspective for a few minutes. God is God. The Almighty I AM. He is Spirit. He is a God of love, and a God of wrath. He is long-suffering, but just. Two thousand years ago He came into this world as flesh and blood man. He was 100% God, and 100% man. I don’t pretend to understand just exactly what that means, but I believe it because the Bible says it, and that makes it true. J

 And He did wonders and miracles, but His people rejected Him and sent him to a cross. He could’ve stopped the whole thing because He is God. But He didn’t because that’s what He came into this world to do. He went to that cross and took upon Himself every sin we’ve ever committed, or will commit. His Father crushed Him, and He was happy to do it. Do I understand this? Yes and no, and of course not. I cannot fathom sending one of my children to death for something they didn’t do. Can you? But His act of mercy allowed some of us good for nothing humans to have salvation. He deserves worship and exaltation.

As time passes, I notice more and more how vile the world is becoming. But then I wonder if it’s always been this evil or if I’m just noticing more because it is I who is changing.

The Bible tells us things will keep getting progressively worse, so I think it must be a little of both. The world is going crazy and most of us are just hanging on for the ride, powerless to do anything about it. But are we really? Powerless that is… We have the most important message of all time emblazoned on our brains and alive in our souls. Do we have the right to selfishly keep it there, afraid to tell others so they might possibly share it with even more people? Do we have the right to have a relationship with our Heavenly Father and not tell others of it? Who are we to keep the knowledge of our Lord and Savior locked away inside our head?

I think about these things a lot. The knowledge of the Lord keeps me sane. There are haters out there. There are even haters in my own home; children whom I have failed, who many have failed. But God never has, yet they turn on Him like rabid wolves.

I have family members who have shunned me. I don’t care overly much. I spent years away from them. I can continue to do so. I will still tell them of God if I get the chance. That’s who I am. My failing has been in not being persistent enough. If I don’t tell them, who will? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I’m anyone special. But God uses us lowly, weak humans to witness to others. I count it a special blessing that my Lord would allow me to glorify Him so.

What I need to do is make sure I take every opportunity to glorify Him. Time is growing shorter. We don’t know when this will all end. Do we want to miss the chance to witness to even one person? I know I don’t. I want to learn of Him. Talk to Him. Glorify Him, and I want others to do the same. He gives us the very breath we breathe. He gave us eternal life. He loved us, and saved us, and gave us the ability to return that love. There is no loyalty in this world to match that. So, for this year’s resolution, I choose to desire a closer relationship to my Lord and Savior. I choose to pray for wisdom, knowledge, and understanding, so that I may know Him more fully. I choose to actively seek to witness to the lost. Pray for them, and even be ridiculed by them, if it would save even one. I pray for the strength and ability to do this and the desire to want to want to do it above all things.

Stay safe and know that God is a God of love, but He is also a God of wrath. Someday we will all have to answer to Him for what we’ve done, or not done. Give God the glory He deserves. I know that’s what I seek.


Happy New Year!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Special Christmas message...

How wonderful God is...
 
 

 

 

 
 
 
                                    Christmas 2013
It’s Christmas time again and I just want to say a few things that have been on my mind lately: So many people have turned the most important day of our year into a materialistic extravaganza that looks more like a circus than the celebration of our Lord’s birth. How did it get to this? Honestly, I don’t know. I don’t like it though.
As I sit here I am contemplating every circumstance, every happening, and every thought in the mind of God He must’ve been thinking that led to the monumental moment when our Lord and Savior was born. God is such an awesome God, and I hate the fact most people don’t know it. Most people don’t care. They go around living their lives like they have all the time in the world. The truth is though, they don’t. No one is promised a next year, a next week, a tomorrow, or even a next breath. Yet millions of people disrespect God by either blaspheming His name, or ignoring He exists.
I can’t imagine how He must feel by this rejection. As a mother, I’ve known rejection by my children. As a past wife, I’ve known the rejection of a husband. As a sister, I’ve known the rejection of my siblings. As a daughter, I’ve known the rejection of my mother and my father. As a friend, I’ve known the rejection of my friends. At the time of these many snubs and rejections, I was hurt. But I built a wall. And another. And another. If I don’t let anyone in, there is no chance of further rejection. As a human, it is my only defense.
Then I think about God and how He must feel. I know by the Word of God that He doesn’t build mental walls to keep us out. He is long-suffering and full of love and compassion, and I am so glad because He saved me.
Looking from my perspective, it’s hard to imagine anyone denying God. How could they? He gives us the very breath we breathe. The very voice most blaspheme him with. Yet most feel no remorse. I believe this is the parents’ fault. We are supposed to bring our children up in the way they should go, or in other words, teach them about God so they grow up with a love and respect for Him. With morals and values. With love and compassion for one another.
The truth is: Most people don’t do this anymore. We are so set on giving our children what we never had. What they want. What they demand. But it’s wrong. Where did we get the idea we were supposed to do this? I don’t know.
How many children out there know what the Christmas holiday is all about? Most likely very few. We need to change this. We can’t change government. We can’t change society. We aren’t supposed to. We aren’t called to do that. We are called to witness to the lost, teach our children, and stand up for our beliefs, even if it gets us killed. But we don’t.
The worst thing about that fact is: we could. In this country, even though it’s fading fast, we still have the ability to speak the truth. There are other countries out there where people die for their belief in God every day. I wonder how many people here in the U.S. would be willing to do that. I have a feeling we’re gonna find out pretty soon. This whole fiasco with the ‘Duck Dynasty’ thing shows us that.
How soon is it going to be before every word we speak is twisted to fit an agenda, or changed completely to condemn us as hate-mongers? I’m guessing not long at all. Phil Robertson’s words were used against him. Or at least, part of them. His words that said he had hate for no one were ignored as if he never said them. Beware; It’s coming to a state near you.
The thing that perplexes me the most is that a group of people say those who say anything against them are encroaching on their rights to free speech; free expression, that they are full of hate and spreading hate. My problem with this is that in disallowing someone to give their opinion, they are encroaching on their freedom to do the same. When did it become okay in this country to squash one people group at the behest of another?
They say we hate, but it isn’t true. Are there haters out there? Yes, but not us. Are there haters out there pretending to be us? Yes. Why can’t they see the difference? Because they haven’t read the Bible. Hence, they don’t realize Christmas is a time to glorify God for sending His Son to us. To die on a cross for our sins.
You see, a true Christian doesn’t hate anyone; doesn’t ostracize anyone. How can you witness to those you alienate? We weren’t called to judge unbelievers. God has already said what He meant to say on the subject. We are to witness to them. In order to witness to an unbeliever, any unbeliever, you have to tell them the truth. Most people don’t want to hear the truth because it rubs them raw and leaves them scraped open and bleeding, needing something to cure them of their wounds. They would rather have someone tell them a lie so they can feel good about themselves. But the fact is, if we don’t tell them, how are they going to know the true state of their soul?
Would you quietly tell a child who runs out in the street in front of a car that he/she is in danger of being hit, or would you scream it as loud as you could so the child would know they are in danger and react, and possibly be saved from death?
I’ve heard it said that the person who tells you the most truth loves you the most. Being a logical kind of person, I agree with this. It isn’t loving to let a child run out in the street and say nothing about the danger that lies ahead, or to say it quietly, so as not to scare them. Or annoy them. Or make them angry. Or upset them in any way. It is of the utmost hate to know a truth and sit back on your haunches, keeping that truth to yourself. The good news isn’t good news if you keep it to yourself.
As Christians, it is our duty to teach our children what Christmas is. Who Jesus is. What He expects of us. What is in store for us. So why do we sit back on our haunches, keeping that news to ourselves? Because we’re afraid to say anything for fear of being made fun of, or having to hear someone spew hate at us, or even send us to jail. But HE DIED FOR US. How can we let that slide? How can we claim to be Christians, lovers of Christ, yet ignore His clear command to witness to the lost?
Jesus is the reason for the season. It isn’t a ‘holiday tree.’ It’s a Christmas tree! It isn’t ‘happy holidays.’ It’s ‘Merry Christmas!’
Christians have stood back like spineless puppets, letting the world take away every right we have to fulfill the commands given to us by Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Every right our soldiers fought hard for us to have. We don’t even value our soldiers anymore. They risk their lives to protect us, yet we shove them to the side like they don’t matter. What kind of people does this? Oh wait, worldly ones…
Last but not least, the Christmas holiday is celebrated in honor of Jesus’ birth. Why do those of the world continue to celebrate it if they say they don’t believe in Him? (Because we give gifts to each other, making it about materialism and sin, not Him. That’s why.)
God has already given the most important gift of all; salvation.
I intend to continue my tradition of reading the story of Jesus’ birth to my children on Christmas day. I intend to talk of Jesus and what He did for us every day, as long as I have a voice to talk or fingers to write or type. If my children have rejected Him, or will reject Him, it won’t be on me. They know, and will know, the truth. How about yours? Do they know the truth of the Christmas story? If not, why not start a tradition this Christmas? Read them the story. Tell them of God Almighty. Tell them of Jesus’ birth. Tell them of His sacrifice. Tell them of salvation. Tell them of hell. Give them the bones of their belief, not bones of contention.
You will find the Christmas TRUTH in Luke chapter two and Matthew chapter one verse eighteen through Matthew chapter two verse twenty-three.
                Merry Christmas!
 
 
 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

I got kind of carried away with this chapter but I wanted to show Janna's pain and anguish, her sorrow. I hope you enjoy it!

These are the best pictures I have ever taken and I wanted to share them with you. I hope you enjoy the story. Let me know what you think by leaving a comment. :)









Chapter Seventeen ~

When the kiss ended Janna stumbled back, her free hand pressed to her pulsing lips. Her heart thundered in her ears, she could barely see. A million thoughts swirled in her brain. This feeling was like nothing she’d ever experienced. “Jedidiah…” She whispered.

“Yes?” He stepped forward and pulled her back into the circle of his arms. His lips crushed down on hers.

Blood rushed into her head and she buried her hand in his hair. It was so silky. She heard a moan. Had that come from her? Time stood still as she reveled in his taste, his lips crushing hers, yet so gentle. His smell. Him. Her senses rushed in and ruined the moment. She pulled away. “No, Jedidiah. We can’t do this.”

“Huh? What did you say?”  He looked as dazed as she felt.

She stood motionless, her eyes surveying his face like a feral cat hungry for her next meal. She saw the desire. How his chest rose and fell in quick bursts. Her heart galloped against her ribs. She moved toward him. A desperate “No!” tripped out. She halted, held her good hand up. “Time-out.”

His green eyes screamed confusion and discontent. “But…”

“I’m a Christian Jedidiah.”

He shook his head. “So am I.”

“Then you know we can’t do this.” Her hand rested on her chest as she fought to pull air into her starving lungs. Pain shot up her broken arm as blood seemed to rush to it. She winced, but he seemed not to notice.

He shook his head again, as if trying to come to terms with her words. “You’re right of course. I apologize. I don’t know what got into me.” He turned on his heel and strode out of the room.

A feeling of loss so deep she could scarcely breathe rushed over her. What was going on? She’d never felt this way before. She needed time to examine it. To pray. Dear Lord, please rein-in this attraction. Your will be done, not mine. So much had happened in the last few days. This was all so sudden. She had no strength to fight it. Did she even want to? Yes, of course I do.

Her feet carried her toward the room where Jessie played. Any decisions she made were more important than ever now. She had a child to care for. She rounded the corner to Jessie’s new bedroom and stopped short.

He sat on the floor beside the little boy, holding some colored blocks.

Jedidiah.

His name washed through her brain as if it’d been there forever. “Oh, I didn’t know you were in here. I’ll come back.” She needed to go, but her feet refused to move.

Too late.

He jumped off the floor and rushed to stand in front of her. “I’m sorry. It was very unprofessional of me. I don’t know what else to say. I have to concentrate on keeping you both safe. I can’t do that if I can’t keep my mind, and my hands, to myself.” He frowned, and the concern shining from his eyes warmed her to the toes.

She’d never felt so safe and secure. “I trust in your ability to watch over us.” She turned and made a beeline for the kitchen. She would stay busy with supper preparations. Heat rushed to her cheeks as a mental picture of Jedidiah jumped to mind. “No, not that kind.” She gasped. She hadn’t meant to say it out loud. She checked to see if he’d followed her, but she was alone.

She pulled a package of ground beef from the freezer. Two seconds later she realized her mistake. She only had one arm. She would have to ask for help. She sunk onto a stool next to the bar and burst into tears. Why was this happening? How could she deal with it? She didn’t know the first thing about taking care of kids. And she’d lost her best friend. Her only friend.

A few minutes later Janna stiffened. She felt his presence. She raised her head slowly. Faced him, tears still slipping down her hot cheeks.

“What’s wrong?” He pulled a couple tissues from a box on the counter and handed them to her, pulling his hand back as if afraid she might bite him.

She understood. The attraction was strong. She’d felt it in the hospital but hadn’t realized just how powerful it was. Had he? She didn’t think so. He seemed just as blown away as she.

“Janna?”

The concern in his voice was obvious.

“What?” She looked into his eyes. Maybe it was the storm, the loss of her best friend, the addition of Jessie, she didn’t know, but she wanted…no, needed, to feel his lips on hers once more. Needed to feel that closeness. That oneness. She rose from the stool, stepped into his arms on tiptoes and kissed him.

He groaned, tried to pull back. “No, Janna. We can’t. I…” But he lost the fight. His arms pulled her close, crushed her to him, and he returned her kiss.

The sounds coming from Jedidiah fueled Janna’s passion and she deepened the already mind-bending kiss. She’d never heard a man make those sounds before. Of course, she’d only ever known one man…The thought turned red-hot passion to ice and she tried to jerk away from him, but his arms tightened around her like bands of steel.

She twisted her head away, parting their lips. “Let me go.” Her voice was barely above a whisper.

He shook his head, tried to pull her face back to his.

She started pulling, frantic to get away from him now. She finally freed her good arm and tried to pry one of his arms loose. He wasn’t budging. She balled her fist, said, “I…said…let…me…go!” Pulled her arm back and punched him full in the face.

Jedidiah’s head snapped back. He pulled it forward, dropped his arms and looked at her in amazed anger. His breath came in erratic spurts. “Why did you do that you crazy woman?” He bellowed. He brought his hand up to check his cheek where her fist had connected. “You kissed me. How are you going to punch me when you kissed me?” He stared at her for a moment longer, turned, and left the room.

The front door slammed and the house was silent.

Janna slid to the floor, her good arm wrapping around her mid-section. Great sobs of anguish erupted from the depths of her broken heart. Would she ever be free of the man who’d taken something from her she could never regain?

Long moments passed, and still she sat on the floor, not wanting to move. How could she get through life without her friend? “Why did this happen, dear Lord? Haven’t I suffered enough? I know You won’t give me more than I can handle, but I’m not feeling the strength. And what’s going on with Jedidiah? That woman who kissed him, You know that’s not me. I’m not promiscuous. Please lead me and guide me and keep me from sinning with him. Please keep my thoughts off him and on You. Please help me be a good guardian for Jessie.”

The sound of scuffling feet caught Janna’s attention and she jerked her head toward the noise. Her attacker’s profile came into view and she screamed.

The front door slammed and Jedidiah thundered through the kitchen doorway like a mad elephant. “What’s wrong?” He yelled.

Janna continued to scream, pointing to the man standing in front of her. “It’s him! It’s the man who raped me!” Great sobs of horror spilled from her very depths. She couldn’t stop. The events of that night raced through her mind at break-neck speed. She was grabbed from behind, thrown to the graveled roof floor. An arm came around her neck, choking the words of the song she’d been singing from her lips, choking the very life out of her while her shirt was ripped from her body. Cold fingers violated her while others pulled her pants down. He lay across her body, holding her down. She couldn’t move. She tried to fight but couldn’t breathe. Dear Lord, Please save me. Please, repeated over and over in her mind. But there was no one to intervene. Darkness began to loom. Somehow he knew and pulled his arm back just enough to let some air in, then he put it back, crushing her throat. He was on top of her now. Bad breath. She broke an arm free and punched him. He growled in fury. Saliva smelling of some fetid chemical sprayed her in the face just before his horrid mouth clamped down on hers, biting, violating, violating.

“Janna! Janna!”

The voice was so familiar. Not her attacker, but…who was it? She continued to scream, fighting as hard as she could. “Get off me. Get off,” She sobbed.

“Janna, it’s me. Jedidiah.”

Gentle hands cupped her face. “It’s okay, Honey. It’s just me.”

She shook her head. Focused her eyes. “Jedidiah?”

He smiled. “Yes.”

“Oh…I’m so…sorry.” Her screams subsided into quiet sobs of grief as Jedidiah slid to the floor and pulled her into his lap, rocking her like a child.

“I thought he was here. I saw him,” she cried.

“It was just Hairy, Honey. He probably heard me yelling and came to investigate.”

“It was?” She wiped at her eyes, trying to focus on Jedidiah. “I’m sorry.”

“No. I’m the one who’s sorry. I didn’t know. I’m the worst kind of heel.” He rubbed her back in soothing circles as he talked.

“My brother didn’t tell you?” She turned, trying to get a better look at his face and gasped in horror. His cheek was red and swollen. “Oh Jedidiah, I’m so sorry.”

“That’s what I get for ignoring a woman when she tells me no.” He pulled her against his chest and kissed the top of her head. “That’s the extent of my kisses until you tell me different,” he chuckled.

She stayed silent, breathing in his scent. It eradicated the disgusting smell of her attacker from her mind, for the moment. She relaxed. “Thank you.”

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

It's Tuesday again!

God is an awesome God. Look at His creations...
 









Chapter Sixteen ~

Janna moved about the kitchen gathering things to make coffee for Jedidiah and some hot chocolate for her. The going was rough due to one of her arms being pinned, but she managed to get it done.

Jedidiah came into the room and sat at the table. “I got the baby gate up and the new toys unwrapped. He’s playing dinosaurs right now,” He said with a beaming smile.

Janna’s heart jumped. What is this? The guy can’t speak without me flipping out? Boy, I’ve got it bad. “Thank you for taking the time to help me out. It’s greatly appreciated. It’s going to take me some time to get acclimated to having a child in the house.”

“I understand. I haven’t been around many little kids but I’m finding I like it. I guess my biological clock is ticking, too.”

Janna laughed, delighted. “Guys don’t have biological clocks, silly.”

He chuckled. “Well apparently I do cause I like being around the little guy. I can’t wait to take him shopping…and to the zoo.”

He grinned so wide his teeth shone and she was caught and mesmerized by his smile.

“Janna?”

She pulled herself back to the conversation. “Yes?”

“Are you sure you’re okay? I was talking to you again, but you seemed a million miles away.”

She felt her face growing warm and brought both hands up to cover her face, rubbing her cheeks before letting them drop to her sides. “I was lost in thought. I’m sorry. Maybe I’ll do better since I’m home.”

He picked up the cup of steaming coffee she’d placed in front of him and sipped at it with stiff lips. “Yum.” He set it down and grimaced. “I forgot how good instant coffee was.”

She burst out laughing. “You’re not a very good liar. I don’t drink coffee so I don’t have any on hand. I’ll get some next time I’m in town.”

He took another sip and returned it to the table and scooted back his chair. “It’s awful quiet in there. We better go check.”

Janna groaned. She should’ve been on top of that. “Yeah we better.”

They rushed to the bedroom, Janna imagining all kinds of scenarios in her mind about what she would find. She needn’t have worried. Hairy lay on his side on the floor and Jessie was on top of him, his fingers buried in the fur at the dog’s nape, sound asleep. She laughed. “He must still be worn out from the meds they had him on.” She stepped over the gate and got into the closet for a blanket. She covered him up and stepped back over the gate as quietly as she could.

They returned to the kitchen and Janna sat down this time. She needed a chocolate boost. She chugged a huge drink of the warm liquid and immediately choked. She sputtered, and cocoa streamed from her mouth in an inglorious string. She tried to hide it with her hand, to no avail.

Jedidiah rushed to her side and began patting her on the back. “Are you okay?”

The concern in his voice was almost her undoing. “Yeah,” She croaked.

“You’re not supposed to inhale the stuff. I’m sure there’s a rule against that,” He laughed.

“I know. I’m sorry.”

“No need to apologize, it happens sometimes. We need to sit down and devise a plan of action, though.”

Alarm swept through her. She’d forgotten for the second time why Jedidiah was really here. “I guess we do.” She swiped her mouth one last time with the paper towel she’d wadded up in her hand and threw it in the garbage can at the end of the counter.

“Do you have some paper and a pen?”

“I do.” She opened a drawer and pulled out both. “What you gonna do?”

“I’m going to make a list of things we need to talk about. We need to formulate a plan of action for starters.”

“I know.” She flopped down in a chair, her lips jutted out like a child.

“I know you don’t want to, but ignoring it isn’t going to make him go away. He’s had several years to devise his own plan about what he wants to do. We have to make sure he isn’t successful.”

“That would be my hope, as well.”

“Okay then. Now that we’ve got that settled, the first thing on the list is…” He wrote on the paper, and then looked up at her. “You can never be allowed out of my sight. If you go to the bathroom, I’ll be right outside the door. At night, I will camp out in your bedroom floor…”

“No you will not,” she interrupted.

“Calm down, woman,” He said, holding his hands out, palms up. “I don’t have anything immoral in mind, but I have to protect you. If he’s as smart as I think he is, he’ll try his best to catch you in one of those situations so he can over-power you. I’m not too worried about Jessie because he couldn’t know about him. You don’t even have papers placing him in your custody yet.”

Agitation filled her. “We can’t let him find out, Jed.”

                                                            ***

Jedidiah’s heart pounded against his ribs at the sound of his name issuing forth from her lips. What was wrong with him? He was the most macho person he knew… “I told you already, I won’t let anything happen to either of you. I’ll guard you with my life. That’s my job.”

He knew immediately he’d said the wrong thing. Her face fell and she was fighting tears. “What is it, Janna?” His voice turned tender.

“I…” She picked at the neckline of her t-shirt. “Uh,” She shook her head. “Nothing, nothing at all.” She turned and walked away.

Jedidiah stared after her. What had he done? This was one of the very reasons he didn’t have relationships. Women were so emotional. He shook his head and sat back down in his chair. This list had to get done whether she was there to help, or not.

He had two pages in the notebook filled up by the time she came back and sat at the table, not saying a word. “You feel better?” He ventured.

“Don’t even start on me,” she warned.

He pulled back. The docile little woman had turned into a tiger with claws. He was confused, and he hated that feeling. He knew he’d said something wrong, he just didn’t know what. If she wanted him to apologize, she needed to tell him why. “Janna, what did I do? I know this is a difficult situation, but I can’t help resolve the problem if I don’t know what it is.”

“If you don’t know, I’m not telling you,” She replied in a stubborn tone.

His understanding was wearing thin. He didn’t have time to coddle a two year old. “Okay fine. It doesn’t matter, I guess.” He gestured toward the paper in front of him, “but we need to get this taken care of before your attacker gets here.” He regretted his mean words as soon as he said them, but knew she wouldn’t let him take them back. She was in a foul mood and he doubted she was going to magically decide to let it go.

Her face turned stony and she glared, her amber eyes shooting forth flame.

He held his hands up and laughed. “Truce. I call truce.”

She groaned, and he pushed back from the chair and raced to the living room, Janna hot on his heels. He dove for the couch, pulling a couple throw pillows over him for protection.

It didn’t save him. Janna jumped atop him and began tickling his sides. He wasn’t ticklish, but he laughed dryly. “I’m not ticklish, you better try something else.”

She stopped, surprised. “Everybody’s ticklish somewhere.”

“I’m not.” His chin rose in pride.

She sat atop him, glaring down on him like he was her next meal. He began to feel a discomfort he couldn’t afford right now. He twisted. “Come on Janna, get up.” His voice croaked now and it was her turn to laugh at him.

He saw a light enter her eyes and knew he was in for it, but couldn’t imagine what she was going to do. “What?”

“This!” She swooped down, grabbing his warm lips in a kiss. It wasn’t a soft, romantic kiss, but a desperate, needy one. She moaned and buried her hands in his hair.

He groaned and pulled away. “Janna, stop. We can’t…”

But she didn’t listen, and he was weak. He pulled her slight frame more fully into his and returned her kiss, his hands roaming up and down her back. Everything disappeared but the woman in his arms as he laid claim to what was his.

It was her turn to pull away. “Okay, truce.” She sat up, gasping. “I forgive you.”

“What did I do?” He tried to gather his thoughts.

She pouted for a moment and then said, “You said I was only a job to you.”

He shook his head. “No I didn’t…”

“Yes you did.”

He fought to remember, and his words echoed in his head. ‘…that’s my job.’ He cringed. How had she wormed her way into his life so quick and easy, anyway? He never let anyone in.

“I see you remember now.”

“Yes.”

“And?”

“You’re not just a job to me. I didn’t mean it that way.”

“But that’s what I started out as…”

“Yes it was,” he said with force as he pulled her back toward his mouth. “But you’re so much more than that now.” And he re-captured her lips with his.



Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The next chapter is here!!

                        Here are some more pictures...









Chapter Fifteen ~

Janna snapped Jessie into his brand new booster seat in the back of her car. Heart pounding against her ribs, she shut his door and took a seat in the passenger side of the economy car.

Jedidiah was in the driver’s seat, his presence larger than life. Trying to resist the urge to sniff and take in the woodsy smell of his after shave, she swiped at her face and asked, “How is Beast and Snow White?” Can he tell how nervous I am?

“They’re fine. I was sure your cat would try to eat Snowy but the crazy thing climbed in her bed and cuddled around her.” He looked at her and smiled.

Janna’s heart beat even wilder. “Are you serious?” She hoped her words didn’t give away how nervous she was.

Jedidiah said, “As a heart attack.”

He smiled that smile again and she caught her breath. Stop it already he’s just a guy… Her self-reprimand fell on deaf ears because her heart didn’t pay attention. Would it always be this way? While in the hospital she’d felt a little attracted and nervous, but this was getting ridiculous. She couldn’t even breathe normal.

Jedidiah started the car, looked in the mirror at Jessie and said, “You okay back there Buddy?”

Jessie was busy pulling a long drink from his brand new Spiderman Sippy cup, but said absentmindedly, “yep.”

Jedidiah laughed. “That’s all that matters.” He started down the street toward Janna’s house. “I want to thank you for allowing me to stay in your home. It’ll make it a lot easier to keep an eye out for you know who.”

Janna’s heart fell. She was trying to forget about him. She knew he was already out, but her mind had been pre-occupied on Jessie and the death of his mother. “You can’t let him get near. You know that, don’t you?” She shrugged her head toward the backseat.

“I’ll guard you guys with my life. You don’t have a thing to worry about.”

Tears jumped to her eyes and she tried to blink them away. How could someone put his life in danger to guard somebody he didn’t even know? It was beyond her, but she believed him. She had to. She had so much more to lose now…

Jedidiah’s hand came over and covered hers. She looked at him. “I’m serious. I won’t let him…”

“I hope not.” Her voice broke.

They drove in silence, Stacy gasping several times as she took in the extent of the tornado damage. “I didn’t realize…”

“I know. It’s a lot to take in. The news said the town is a seventy-eight percent loss.”

“You’re kidding me?” Her voice broke and she sobbed openly. It was a relief, really. Holding in her emotions was just too hard in this circumstance. She’d had to be strong for so long now. Why are you doing this Dear Lord?Why?  Janna wanted to ask Jedidiah a question, but she hesitated. Was he a believer? She didn’t know and couldn’t tell. “Uhm…” She stopped, cleared her throat and said, “Can I ask you a question?”

“Sure, ask away.”

She watched as his gaze slid to Jessie in the back seat. He was worried about him, too.

“Do you…Uh…Do you believe in…” She stopped and shot him a glance. She didn’t want to make him angry, and that tended to happen sometimes when it concerned God.

He laughed and gave her a cute little grin. “Do I believe in what? God?” He glanced at her and smiled again, this time chuckling. “I’m not going to bite your head off, you know. I do believe in God, very much so. He’s my Lord and Savior.”

He dropped it just like that. No embarrassment, no nonsense. Just truth. She couldn’t stop the grin. There was so much more to this man than she’d first thought. Of course, the way he’d been following her had been creepy. And then his dog had scared her to death, and then the tornado. Her grin dried up, and her face became tight.

“Janna?”

She looked at him.

“Are you okay?”

“Yes, why?”

“I was talking, but you weren’t hearing.”

“Oh. I guess my mind wandered off. I’m sorry.” She smiled over at him, not waiting for his eyes to catch hers.

“Why did you want to know if I believed in God?”

Her heart skipped a beat. He wasn’t letting the subject go. He wanted to talk about God and she fell a little more in love…Janna sat up straight at that thought and said with force. “No!”

“Huh?”

Her gaze shot to Jedidiah. Had she said that out loud? She must’ve, if his face was any indication. His lazy smile had disappeared and was replaced by a frown of confusion. What do I say? “Oh nothing.” He was still giving a confused stare so she went on, “I believe in Him. Do you think this storm was a judgment on us?” She glanced at him, hoping her evasive maneuvers had worked.

He didn’t answer right off, but seemed to be thinking the question through.

That made her respectometer rise a few degrees. He was giving careful thought before he spoke; a sure sign of maturity.

“Yes and no.”

Confusion rose within her. This man was an enigma. Usually she could gauge their personality in two seconds flat, but with Jedidiah she didn’t know… “Okay…?”

“I think it’s a general sign of the times. You know, the world isn’t getting any better. But we have to be careful when discerning things of this nature. Jesus said those killed by the tower of Siloam hadn’t been worse sinners than any other, and that if they didn’t repent, they would perish as well.”

“Oh yeah, that’s true. I forgot about that.” She really liked this guy…

They pulled in the driveway of her house and she took a refreshing breath. Her house was pretty much untouched. There were some tree limbs on her front walk and in the yard, but other than that, it looked the same as it did the day she rushed to her friend’s house. Poor Tilly. Poor Jessie. Tears filled her eyes. This was going to be so hard.

She got out and took Jessie out of the car.

“Ja-Ja, when is my Mommy coming back?”

She stopped, horrified. She’d planned on having more time to formulate a good reply to this very question, but he hadn’t wasted any and he was looking at her with his huge gray eyes, waiting for an answer. “Uhm…Jessie, do you remember there was a storm?”

His lips trembled, and he shook his head.

“Mommy was…” She stopped. This was too hard. No one had prepared her for anything like this. How could she tell this innocent child he would never see his mother again? She looked over the hood of the car at Jedidiah, who’d stopped and was waiting for her reply, too. She shrugged.

He came around the car and took the boy from her, and walked toward the door. “Hey Bud, your mom’s…”

“Mommy not coming back, huh?” Huge tears popped up in his eyes and slid down his chubby cheeks.

Janna opened the door and Hairy rushed out in a flurry of fur and barking. Jessie’s attention was immediately captivated by the dog. She smiled up into Jedidiah’s face as he lowered the boy to the ground and said, “Jessie, this is Hairy. Hairy, this is Jessie. Hairy, protect.”

Hairy sat down on his haunches, not moving an inch as Jessie came and hugged him around the neck, wiping his tears in his fur.

Janna gave Jedidiah a look full of confusion.

“Hairy won’t leave him unless I tell him different. He will be his constant companion. Let’s get them inside. The dog won’t keep him occupied for long so we have to devise something to tell him; something true, but as devoid of hurt as possible.”

“I’m glad you said that,” she put a hand on Jessie’s back to move him and the German shepherd through the door.

“What?” Jedidiah asked as he followed them inside and shut the door.

“We.” She turned and threw herself into his arms, but not before seeing the surprise on his face.

Jedidiah wrapped his muscular arms around her and squeezed just enough for her to feel the comfort. “There’s nothing else, is there?”