Take a look behind you

Me & my mother-in-law, Lynn December 2011

Normally I do “This Writer’s Journey” on Fridays, but today, I had to post something my sweet Mother-in-Law wrote back in 1988. Today marks one week since she was laid to rest. She went home to Jesus Monday October 24th and we said our final goodbyes on Friday October 28th.

RG, Lynn and Lynn September 2011

During that funeral service, I took the podium and read a poem she’d written. The family found it while looking through old photographs.

Those of you who may be new to the blog and don’t know my deep connection with my mother-in-law, her name is LYNN.  Yep, same as mine because I took that as my pen name to honor her. She was one of my biggest cheerleaders. She read the first thing I ever wrote before I even knew I’d try and start writing for publication.

So, here is her poem:

Take a Look Behind You

Take a look behind you, someone’s hurting there.

Maybe you can reach out, show them that you care.

You question what your role is, what you could ever do.

You say, “Someone should help them”, could that someone be you?

~~~

The person there behind you needs Jesus, that you know.

To share the love and grace He did was His command, and so—

If you would like to reach out but wonder if you can,

God’s working all around you; just join Him in His plan.

~~~

The one that’s there behind you may be a struggling soul,

Who comes to church and plays the game but doctrine takes its toll.

To this one no one mentioned how real are love and grace.

A load of guilt from past mistakes is present in its place.

~~~

And not so far behind you, there’s an aging person there.

Who has a lot of wisdom and experience to share.

But visitors at their front door they very seldom see.

Alone they sit with memories of how it used to be.

~~~

Perhaps the one behind you is a lonely woman who

Feels no appreciation for the things that she must do.

She cares for children, cooks and cleans and does the tasks at home.

She has no one to talk to and feels so all alone.

~~~

The one behind you, too, may be the anxious businessman

Who bears financial burdens and works as best he can.

He seems in charge, he’s strong and tough, this all by outward show.

While inside he’s a frightened boy, but he’ll let no one know.

~~~

And look right there behind you, you’ll see a busy teen

Who’s privacy and family times are few and far between.

From peer there’s often pressure that tempts and leads astray.

She knows the right thing from the wrong, but still goes her own way.

~~~

There’s near enough behind you the ones who live in sin.

They try by their own efforts, but just can’t seem to win

They know deep down inside them, they are not living right.

The grasp of sin is all too strong and holds with all its might.

~~~

Jesus seeks to save all these; He wants to ease their pain.

That’s why He died upon the cross, exactly why He came.

So do you ever wonder where the hurting are?

Just take a look behind you; you needn’t look so far.

~~~~~~~~

Lynn Boeyink, 1988

Insecure Writer’s Support Group

It’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. We post the first Wednesday of every month. I encourage everyone to visit at least a dozen new blogs and leave a comment. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs.

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Thanks, Alex for starting this fun blog fest. I’m all about support and encouragement to help people through worries and fears. This is my first time participating in this and I wondered what the heck I’d write about.

But then it hit me.

A friend of mine put something really interesting on my facebook wall the other day:

I pray that you guys get back to your “new normal” and that God shows you special blessings this week!

Now it might sound weird to anyone reading it who doesn’t know that my mother-in-law, Lynn, died last Friday. So, my new normal is life without her.

She was the first person who ever read my work.

As in first EVER! She was a fantastic writer. I plan to share something she wrote later this week, but for now, my current insecurity is. “I’ve lost one of my biggest cheerleaders.”

Her endless encouragement has always fueled me. Sure, I have a lot of support out there, but still. Lynn (that’s why I chose Lynn as my pen name) just had this knack to know when I needed a quick phone call or an email of encouragement.

She was the first person (besides my hubby) I’d tell exciting writing news to.

And now that’s gone.

While I’m heartbroken and floundering a little right now, I know she’s no longer dealing with the agony of cancer. I know she’s cheering me on from a different place now. I know I’ll always hold her dear to my heart and dedicate every book I write to her.

It’s just hard. Even writing this post is difficult…yet helpful in its own way.

~~~~

Who is one of your biggest supporters? I’d love to hear about him/her!

Once upon a time…

I write romance novels. As in fiction. Paranormal-Urban Fantasy-type fiction.

But for the past fifteen years, I’ve been witness to a real-life fairy tale-type love story.

My Mom & Dad-in law.

My sweet MIL was admitted to the hospital this past week. Seems the cancer has started its final attack. At the moment she’s resting comfortably, surrounded by her two sons and her husband.

My hubby sent me a picture that rocked my world.

It helped me understand the whole idea of true love. The true meaning of through health and sickness, ups and downs, until death do us part.

Here’s that picture:

~~~~

Lynn looks quite different from from the day they took their wedding vows over 44 years ago. Heck from the time they first met in the FIFTH grade!

Yes, they began their fairy-tale romance that young!

When I was last in Sioux Center, staying with them for a couple of weeks to help them out, they shared their story with me. How Lynn arrived to town when she was only five. How her & RG met in school when he started his first year at a town school.

He’d been educated in a “country school” up until then.

Finally, in the seventh grade they went to a little party together as a date, and they were smitten. Together ever since.

Sure, they had their share of ups and downs, sicknesses and you name it. But this picture of them together in the hospital showed me something–> Love is, indeed, the strongest things out there.

I believe it so much I’ve tattooed it on my arm (Faith, Love & Hope, but the greatest of these is Love. 1 Cor 13:13)

But to see it. With my own eyes…

There are no words.

The love between these soul mates is palpable. You can almost see it in tangible waves in this picture.

Though they face such hard times right now, two things stand firm with this couple:

Their faith in God and their love for one another.

Even though Lynn can scarcely mutter a word, she and her soul mate don’t need words. No, they don’t have telepathic abilities like the characters I write about. No, they don’t have super powers to heal wounds and injuries like those I write about. But they do have the boundary-breaking, never-ending, soul-connecting love I write about.

It’s a real life love story.

So, today, my sweet parents, I dedicate this post to you. Dedicate this day to you. May you feel God’s peace around you. And thank you for the stunning example of what a soul mate truly is.

~~~~~~

I’m in IOWA!

Okay, no Iowa jokes….well, only if they’re funny.

Yep, I’m here in Iowa for a few weeks. I’m super excited, too, because I get to spend time with Charlie’s parents.

You might remember Lynn from my posts about her here and here and here.

Yeah, I kinda like her (and her son…LOL)  Anyway, I came to Iowa to hang out with her and help around the house as she works to get stronger after her big surgery so she can face another round of Chemo.

Oh, and I’m sure we’ll be talking writing–JUST a little bit. Considering I have to get going on my Violet Midnight edits, I’m sure I’ll be doing some editing as well.

I went for a run today. It’s kind of creepy-fun running the paved trails through the corn fields. Stalks taller than me on both sides….Feels so Children of the Corn-like…..