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I’m not a big gardener. That’s probably just as well, since we live in an apartment. I do like to have flowers on the balcony in the summer, and I confess, I have managed to kill an entire batch of petunias. PETUNIAS! Petunias survive just about anything, and one July, I believe it was, I had to just throw them all out. They’d turned yellow on me and shrivelled up.

This summer, our church was giving out little tree saplings–I think it was connected to raising money for building a new church. (What church isn’t raising money for a new building? Seriously! I’ve never seen one!) Anyway, our son was very excited about this little sapling and wanted to plant it outside.

Living in an apartment building, we can’t exactly randomly plant trees, so I told him we could stick it in a pot and see what happened. I fully expected this little tree to die. Well, it didn’t! And I mostly forgot about it. I watered it once a long while, and it just kind of held on. Then winter came, and the pot froze solid out there on the balcony, and I felt a little bad, so I brought it inside, again, expecting it to die after that mistreatment.

Well… here it is! The little tree that survives against all odds!


It’s like the Charlie Brown Christmas tree! It just keeps on going with a whole lot of heart. It makes me think of trees that grow out of rock on the side of a mountain. I really hope this little tree makes it. I’ve gotten emotionally attached to it now.


Coming in April 2020!

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Thursday's Bride MMFor a proper young Amish widow struggling to begin again, encountering her reckless first love will test her forgiveness, resolve—and heart . . .

Overwhelmed by grief and tending twin baby daughters, Rosmanda Lapp is without options. She still blames her brother-in-law, Levi, for her husband’s accidental death—but she and her aging in-laws need him to keep their farm going. Yet as Levi takes on his responsibilities with a new determination and steadiness, she can’t help but regret that she chose his serious-minded brother over him. For Levi is still very much the passionate man she loved—and Rosmanda now has even more reasons to keep him at arm’s length . . .

Levi can’t blame Rosmanda for staying clear of him. He has mistakes to make up for and must finally do right by his parents. Still, he never got over his brother stealing Rosmanda away. And he can’t  deny the feelings that even now tempt them back to each other. And when a mistake from her past threatens her reputation, Levi will do whatever it takes to help her—and trust that faith and courage will at last help them claim a future together . . .