Welcome to "Showers of Blessings" which is a blog for writers and their readers! It is my prayer you will find many blessings in these humble words as you open your heart to hear about my best friend, Jesus Christ. He has called me to write for Him and though I remain stunned by this, wondering how He could use someone like me in this competitive industry, I know He has equipped me to do the job or He would never have opened all the doors He has to a career in writing. He gets all the glory for such an awesome plan, believe me!

Below each post there is an indication of the number of comments for that post. If you click on that it will bring up the comments for you to read and allow you to leave a comment for me if you would like to do so. I look forward to hearing what you have to say and thank you for taking the time to step with me into the showers of blessings He shares with all of us through His Word!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Far Above Ordinary

Are you just “ordinary”? I never have liked that word, frankly. It indicates to me someone who never really tries, who never puts forth any real effort much less extra effort, who settles for mediocre when excellence is the point! So please don’t ever call me ordinary!

My prayer is that my writing for the Lord will be considered far and above the normal that is out there for others to read. Above the average. Above the usual. Above the—well, ordinary! How to make it shine and sparkle is the goal to which I aspire. Whether or not I make that is up to my readers, of course, but I believe that with God’s inspiration behind every word He is the One who will make that difference clear. So I continue to hone my craft and practice it continually, editing and shaping it until I am satisfied it is the best I can produce with His help. Results are not up to me, they are in His hands. As my husband likes to say regarding our homebuilding business, “Production is my job. Marketing and sales belong to God alone.”

Recently I read an awesome quote written by a friend of mine, Nick Adams, who kindly gave his permission for me to use it here and which speaks to this same thing from a faith standpoint. “God never created you to be ordinary. He created you to leave your mark on this generation. God wants you to do something big. Do it!”

What can I do that is “big”? Anything that the Father has planned! When should I do it? Now! How do I do it? Obedience and perseverance! Where do I do it? Wherever God has planted me! Why should I do this big thing? Because He has ordained it and commanded me and guides my every step!

Are you ready to join me in this exciting venture? Throw away ordinary and add that extra effort to become what He has planned all along—extraordinary! Your readers will thank you and those whose lives you touch outside your writing will also be grateful. And most important of all, God will be glorified when you do rather than just talk about it. Remember, the goal is excellence in everything, just as He displays that same quality in all His works here on earth. How can we do any less?

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Knowledge or Understanding?

The world clamors at us from every side to learn all sorts of things and much of this is good. We do have to be cautious, however, to consider the source and consider the purpose or we might be spinning our wheels or even going backwards.

As writers, we are encouraged to always be stretching our limits in the craft whether it’s by attending conferences and workshops, reading books on any one of various topics related to our particular area of interest in writing, meeting with other writers in groups to hear a speaker or for discussion, honing our skills at critiquing by aiding other writers, or always by sitting at the computer and actually writing. All of these will help us grow to do our chosen tasks better and more efficiently. Otherwise, we are just doing “busy work” without purpose.

As Christians we know from the Scriptures that we will never remain stagnant. That is, we will either be growing in our faith or sliding backwards. There is no middle ground. Try as we might, we cannot stay where we are! The expansion of our beliefs might be through baby steps or might be through giant leaps—and this goes for both directions, for that matter. Have you ever hit a low point and felt that every day you were taking ten steps back? Yes, so have I. Not fun. Sometimes the slippery slope is a huge mountain; other times it is subtle and gentle and not so obvious. Perhaps you have awakened, as have I, and realized with a start that it has been quite some time since you felt God’s presence filling your soul and you wonder where He went. He didn’t go anywhere, though, since He wasn’t the one who moved. Good lesson to be more discerning about sliding back down that hill!

Mine is a dynamic faith and I pray my writing will be equally as “on fire” so that my messages will encourage hearts, inform minds, and inspire the spirits of people who read my books. The worst remark someone could make about one of my novels is to ask later “what message?” because it just didn’t make that great of an impact for her to remember. And I pray that no one I meet or know will have to wonder whether or not I am a Christian, that just by meeting and knowing me even briefly they can tell. At least, that is my goal. Which is also a scary prospect, in that perhaps I will have a negative impact on someone because of that fact. Ouch!

The world assails us with the demand to gain more knowledge but God’s desire is for us to have understanding of the facts we already know before we attempt to learn new ones. As stated recently in Jesus Calling by Sarah Young, “Understanding will never bring you Peace. That’s why I have instructed you to trust in Me, not in your own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV) emphasizes this by reminding us that God is the source of our understanding, not our own intellect, ability, or persistence. For Christ alone is the Prince of Peace.

Psalms 20:7 (NIV) says it another way: “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.” Not in might or power or wealth or education or prestige or success—just in HIM! And then we are admonished that once we make this decision to pursue understanding and wisdom through His Spirit, we are not to be filled with second thoughts or questions. As Elizabeth Elliot said it: “Don’t dig up in doubt what you planted in faith.” Amen and amen again!

Keep writing and keep striving for understanding of Him and His values, keeping your eyes off the world while being in it and writing about it. Tough assignment but possible through His strength alone!

Monday, August 26, 2013


For months I have once more been dealing with situations in my life that have demanded my full attention and energy so have let my writing take a back seat for a time. Enough of that! I hope you readers are as excited to have me back as I am to be here.

Yesterday in my Sunday School class we had a lesson on Ecclesiastes that hit me between the eyes with its directness and on-target message for my writing as well as for my life in general. The so-called “perfect time” for any task will never come! I am to do what I can, when I can, and allow God the privilege of bearing the responsibility for the outcome. Living in fear is wrong, whether it is fear of the future or fear that my writing might offend rather than glorify the Lord. Both of these examples are huge tools in the hands of our enemy, holding us back when we should be bold and step out in faith. I had a lot of confessing to do at that moment, when God reminded me that His call to write for Him had not changed, no matter how hectic my life had become recently. No one knows what’s ahead but Him and I refuse to spend an inordinate amount of time worrying about it. He will give me courage and wisdom to deal with each bend in the path and bumps along the way. What I have to do is MY job which is to write!

By hesitating and procrastinating I actually limit God’s power to be unleashed in my life. Do I really want this to happen? Of course not! And neither, I suspect, do you. How have you been limiting the Lord’s work with worry? What steps are you going to take to prevent this from happening any longer?

I am to bloom where He has planted me, not where He has planted others. Do you have the same problem I do in remembering this truth? I see others publishing left and right and wonder why this hasn’t happened to me. Yet, am I really working at it like they are? I think not. Should I? You bet! I don’t want to live constantly striving for more of anything but to learn to be content with what I have at the moment. But I have to remember that to reach any goal requires hard work and clear objectives. Someone said yesterday that when we are young teens we live to get our driver’s license; but now that we are aging quickly, we should remember to enjoy having one before they take it away. Oh, how true this is! Paul referenced contentment often in his writings but it is even more true today than back then. Patience has never been my strong suit but God keeps trying to teach me.

Our teacher ended the lesson by quoting a FEAR acronym that he had read in a commentary. What would you list as the traits we should exhibit to experience victory over fear in our writing lives, or perhaps one for contentment? I will be excited to read your ideas!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Are You Steadfast?

While studying a passage in Psalms the other day, I found a word that intrigued me—“steadfast”—and began looking at other places in the Bible where it appears. As with all interconnected verses, it became difficult to know where to stop! One led to another which led to yet another and so forth. And each had a slightly different meaning, yet all helped shed light on the original verse. Such it is with God’s Word, a true light for our path no matter how far afield we might stray in our thinking.

When we as Christian writers follow the calling God has placed on our hearts to write for Him, we often find this same kind of web-style network impacting our writing. Perhaps you need to look up more information on a type of food that would be served at a Medieval banquet and then you find another rabbit trail to pounce on in the midst of this research. And before long, an entire morning is gone and the novel’s next chapter still lies unwritten. Yes, you have learned a great deal about Medieval life but nothing significant regarding the original question of what foods to describe on the plates of those attending the feast. Yet, is it wasted time? Not by a long shot!

And in the same way when God reveals another piece of His character to us while pursuing a specific word study, we often learn more than we bargained for. And learning is always good!

In this case, I learned in Psalm 112:7 that my heart does not have to fear bad news if my heart is holding fast and trusting in God alone. My heart will be secure and where He is, fear is not! Even when the darkness surrounds me, verse 4 in that chapter tells me that His light springs forth. Nothing my enemy can do comes close to this miracle and for that I am deeply grateful. I have this verse cross-referenced with Isaiah 26:3-4, a well known passage that reminds us He will keep us in His perfect peace when our hearts are strong in His love. So when faced with trouble, these words reassure me that all my plans will be worked out in His timing if I lay my hands on God’s truths to keep me steady. And this is what will keep me safe and secure as I navigate through life.

How does that apply to my writing? In plenty of ways! When I’m awaiting word on a contest entry or a submission to an agent or publisher, there is no need to worry or fret over what the answer will be. I can rest in the knowledge He is in control of that situation and has a better plan than mine ever could be for my future as a writer. It might be a resounding yes, but even if it is a no, I don’t have to be anxious. And believe me, so far I’ve had abundant experience with this! Have I always reacted the way He wants me to? Sad to say, not at all. But the times I do His peace is so real I can taste and smell it oozing through the words on the page before me.

“Yes, Laura, I’m still here and still in control. And yes, Laura, I have a great plan for your writing not far up ahead. Keep at it, stay steady and strong. Be steadfast and the riches of My rewards will be greater than you could ever have imagined.”

Do I trust Him? Absolutely! Will I obey and let Him work this out? You bet! He is the CEO of my writing career and when He shows me the next step, I have only to step forth in confidence and faith that He has a purpose behind His command. Mystical? Not on your life, just simple, child-like faith that He is my God. I hope you can say the same today, that He is yours, too! If not, I would love to share with you how you can feel that same assurance of your soul for all eternity!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Legacy in My Bible

Like most people, I have stuck notes of all kinds in the pages of my Bibles (I have two, a large study one and a slimline one to take to Sunday School and church so I don't have to lug that big one on Sunday mornings!), carefully placed there down through the years. In addition, I have underlined and made countless notes in the margins of almost every book as I have studied the Scriptures in the course of Bible studies, SS lessons, church services, devotional times--whenever God has spoken to my heart over the years. But never did I imagine I was creating a lasting legacy by doing so, until recently when a friend's testimony touched me deeply.

When my friend’s mother passed away not long ago, she inherited her Bible and to her great delight discovered a treasure beyond compare. It seems that her mother had done the same thing I have, tucked away various items that had meaning to her from time to time down through the years. One of those was a poem she had written to her children about her own death but they had never read! In addition, the verses she had underlined in her studies now serve as a silent testimony for her daughter to a living faith that has survived beyond the grave. Nothing could replace that!

Readers and authors alike must keep pace with the rapid and dramatic twists that technology offers or risk becoming lost in a whirlwind of confusion and frustration. What was considered a novel approach one week quickly is replaced by one that is essential in the publishing industry, for example, and ignorance can be the death knell for a writing career. This includes methods for personal Bible study as well as for leisure reading, research purposes, and advanced learning situations.

Some people glide into this revolution easily and with great enthusiasm; others have to be dragged kicking and screaming. Often I find myself in this latter category, I must admit, but I am taking “baby steps” to immerse myself into social media, for instance, that a few years ago would have been unthinkable. There is one area, however, at which I draw a hard and fast line. And when my friend shared her feelings about her mother’s Bible that day, it was a monumental revelation to me. What if her mother had used an online version of the Bible with all those priceless notes lost for all eternity?

So I pose this question to you now, as my friend did that day: what kind of a legacy are you leaving behind in your Bible, however unintentionally? Will it be something that future generations will someday tap into in order to know you more fully and understand your faith walk, and perhaps thereby experience a powerful change that will echo throughout eternity, long after you are gone? Or will it be an item of technology that no one even remembers how to turn on? I pray how I walk this road will honor God and bless my children in the years to come!

Monday, September 3, 2012


The other day I was reading a passage in Luke that struck me in a different way than ever before. It is found in Chapter 12, verses 22-29. Jesus was teaching His disciples about trusting God to provide our needs, and He used as an example the ravens of the air. Jesus reminded them they do not sow or reap and don’t have barns to fill with extra food, yet God feeds them. And then He hammers home His point by saying, “And how much more valuable you are than birds!”

This is made even more graphic when you consider the fact that ravens are considered unclean by Jews. They wouldn’t touch one on purpose for anything. But God still considers them worthy of provision and protection. He doesn’t wait for them to somehow become magically clean overnight. Instead, He cares for them in their so-called contaminated state. Just as He does for me.

But Jesus isn’t through with His lesson yet. He goes on to tell us to consider the lilies of the fields, how they don’t work, either. But Solomon, considered the most wealthy and prosperous man of the Old Testament days, did not have glory equal to this simple flower. In spite of my lack of faith, He will take care of me as He does the lily and the raven, who do not endure forever. He clothes me—that is, provides for my basic needs—even if I do not, or can not, lift a finger to provide for myself.

Another point of interest from this story is the fact that birds do go out to seek food but lilies are stuck in the ground and must wait for nourishment to come to them in order to survive. It matters not what I do, only that God provides.

Salvation cannot be earned, no matter how hard I work. It is a gift from God’s heart. He offers it to each of us and I am humbled to have accepted that gift from Him. It has changed everything for me!

When I write, I can only do so much to get something published. I have to use discernment and wisdom to know where to submit; but in the end, it is not my decision. It is left up to others. I can pray for them to choose publication for my book but I cannot force it to happen. I must stay put and wait for God’s nourishment and reward to be showered upon me. Yet I must never give up hope! When the time is right He will provide, for He has called. That I know. The waiting is hard but not impossible!

Meanwhile, I study and learn more about my craft and get the submissions done. They will never bless anyone sitting in a drawer or trapped in my computer. And I pray for patience to wait on His timing and His answer. I may seek other venues—as the raven goes out to seek food—but in the end, I am more like the lily. If we can work at it, we should. Other times, we simply wait.

Which are you today, the raven or the lily?

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Victim or Victor?

When writing suspense, authors work hard to pace the action so as to build the tension and keep readers turning pages as fast as they can. Whether it’s a murder mystery with a ticking clock or imminent peril from an unknown source or dangerous monsters lurking nearby, the point is the same. Let the reader feel the character’s anxiety and fear by writing this character into a corner where things just couldn’t possibly get any darker. And then let it!

Make chaos erupt with every scene, turn things upside down and inside out, show the unexpected and dreaded. Your character needs to be a victim to some extent so the reader can empathize with her and thus identify with her dilemma, so she will care whether she lives or dies. Explore the potential in this suspense and build it yet again to another climax as soon as is feasible and hit your character with still another unbelievable yet real crisis. And keep it up until you leave the reader breathless and completely hooked on your story, not daring for a moment to put the book down. Grow the character through overcoming these obstacles and push her relentlessly when she wants to give up. These are the makings of “real” life, even if it’s in a book!

We’ve all read novels and short stories about victims but sometimes they are not sympathetic. If they willingly remain in the situation and continue to be abused or threatened or imposed upon with no hope in sight, readers will quickly lose desire to continue the story. So it is a fine line between creating this victim mentality or writing about one who is victorious over her circumstances and challenges. Be careful about allowing your readers to drown in the victim mode; always pull the character out of the fire at just the right moment to sustain interest and likeability, while drawing a believable character who won’t turn off the readers.

And you know what, our lives are the same way. When God granted us breath & brought us into this evil world, He also surrounded us with much beauty to prevent our becoming overwhelmed. The Scriptures tell us to focus on the good things in life not on the negative ones. We may feel doomed to live IN all this mud, but we can rise by His power and learn to live ABOVE it. Are you creating a lifestyle for yourself where you are constantly a victim, where someone else is always to blame for all the bad things that envelop you? Or are you allowing God’s Spirit to help you soar on eagle’s wings above the mess of our world and catch hold of the victory He offers?

Whether you are forming a character for your latest book or fine-tuning the attitudes and motives of the real world around you every day, let His victorious strength boldly take you to the skies instead of wallowing in the muck. Which will be your dwelling place in the coming week—that of victim or victor?