Hope Thrives in Wisdom

If you are just now joining me, let me introduce this mini-series within the Hope series. As part of my legacy and just because I want to, I am blogging about each of the Saturday Sisters.poster from Ginger

For over twenty years, we have met together – usually monthly – to eat lunch, talk about our families and prayer requests, to do life together.

Today I focus on the tallest Sister, Ginger.

None of us call her Virginia, because the moniker of Ginger sounds more friendly. She once served as a gifted lawyer, but now revels in the roles of wife, grandmother, friend and sister.

Her gift to me is Wisdom.

From the time we first met, in the welcome line for new members at First Christian Church in Lawrence, Kansas, Ginger has impressed me as the most authentic woman I have ever known.

In spite of chronic illness, Ginger wears her authenticity with the wisdom of years. She and I share a common background. As recovering Mennonites we both love music, missions and carbohydrates.

I covet her white hair because my gray is not attractive. But I really loved how she once added a streak of dark purple, an impulsive move that delighted us and underscored her creativity.

Ginger and her husband, Ken, have supported me in various ministries through the years, but it was her kind generosity and wisdom that helped me through the dark beginnings of divorce. She was practical yet soft, wise yet gentle. I will always love her for being there when the need was so great.

Her Wisdom also manifests in story as Ginger is one of the best story-tellers I know. She served on my team as an international minister, telling the stories of the Bible to children and their mothers from all over the world. She brought Moses, Noah, Adam and Eve alive to beginners in faith and seasoned saints.

I am quite certain some young adults in China or the Ukraine now believe in the amazing Yahweh God, because they saw him live through Ginger.

When we meet as Saturday Sisters, it is Ginger’s stories that enthrall us, that lead to laughter or a general sigh of agreement. While we grieve for the illnesses she bears, for the pain that often keeps her away from our meetings – we treasure our times together.

I love how Ginger speaks her truth and how she often shares on my blog comments. It makes me feel closer to her through the miles, to send a hug through cyberspace and thank her for taking the time to read and respond.

Although we are not far apart in age, Ginger seems so much stronger than I, wiser for her years of experience, grace-filled in spite of sorrows. She reminds me to persevere, to find the stories in the every dayness of living and to keep on writing, even through rejection.

A creative poster Ginger designed hangs in my office and is represented in the image above. With her usual flair for color and texture, it is the wisdom of Ginger’s words that I appreciate most: “I have always known that I would take this path, but yesterday I did not know that it would be today.”

The Wisdom of my Sister Ginger challenges me to seek my own wisdom in the things that count, in the words I write and in the Hope I strive for.

©2018 RJ Thesman – All Rights Reserved

Check out my books on my Amazon Author page.

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Book Launch Benefits

On a beautiful evening in August, we launched “The Unraveling of Reverend G.” Some writers don’t like to mess with a book launch—too much work when they’d rather be in front of the keyboard, creating fascinating plots and characters.

My incredible marketing team helped put the evening together. Genie, Melissa, Tricia and Patti. Then at the last minute—Katie, who offered her home and designed beautiful desserts. Cheesecake with blueberries. Reverend G’s favorite.

Like grandmothers showing off pictures, authors love to tell how they birthed the book and why, where the characters come from and what certain phrases really mean. It’s more than marketing skills, more than promotion. It’s almost pride in the finished product but gratitude for the opportunity to tell about it.

For “The Unraveling of Reverend G,” I said something that I always caution beginning writers to avoid, “God gave me this book.” But it was true. I had no intention of writing fiction. The genre that fits my gifting is nonfiction. Just the facts, ma’am. Tell the truth.

But one day I woke up with this story, and I knew it wasn’t from my own psyche. A character so real to me that I dreamed about her as she came to life on the computer screen. None of my usual outlining or prep work. Just sit down and let Reverend G tell her story.

So at the launch, I had the opportunity to praise God for the story he gave. I answered questions about the writing process and the reason behind the topic of Alzheimer’s and dementia. Hugs. Signed books. Pictures. Snacks. Friends from as far away as Oklahoma and China. A cadre of people who wanted to encourage me in the work and help make it successful.

Then the best part of the evening—the prayer of dedication to honor God and His promise from Zechariah 4:10, “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin.”

The prayer of dedication blessed the book so that it will encourage caregivers, spread the Gospel of truth and remind us all of the fragility of life.

Reverend G says it best, “How can this be, Lord, that life has changed so suddenly? One moment we hunt for treasures. The next day, it seems, we give them away…I never thought my life would come to this, but you knew about it, before I was born. You saw this moment and designed enough grace for me to deal with it. Thank you, God.”